When you hear the term ‘spring cleaning’, you probably imagine cleaning out closets and donating old clothes. Now, what if you applied the idea of spring cleaning to your diet?
The winter season tends to be filled with heavier foods as well as plenty of sugar with the holidays! So, spring is a good time to step back and reexamine your eating habits. Instead of trying a quick diet to lose weight, consider making real lifestyle changes to support a healthier way of life with these tips.
1. When it comes to sugar and salt, less is more.
While the American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugars under 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men, just one can of a soda may contain 39 grams of sugar! So, read labels to better understand how much sugar is actually inside packaged meals. Salt has been linked to heart disease, so you can lower your risk by cutting back on your salt intake.
2. Action time: Clean out your fridge and take inventory of the pantry!
Even after you’ve vowed to stop drinking soda, it will be challenging to ignore it if it’s sitting right there in your fridge. Take time to go through your fridge and pantry and remove any foods that do not match your health goals. Give what no longer serves you to friends, the work-office, or even donate to a food pantry.
3. Embrace seasonal produce for meal ideas.
Be honest: how often do you really eat your fruits and vegetables? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 86% of Americans didn’t meet their vegetable intake recommendations. One trick to increase your daily intake of vegetables is to dedicate one meal per day to be super packed with greens. In addition, there are many online resources available to help you find out what produce is in season. Or, if you live in the Sacramento region, you can visit one of the many farmers’ markets for locally grown, in-season produce.
3. Try mindful eating.
While it’s easy to quickly grab the closest thing to munch on as you head out the door in the morning, it’s important to try to develop the habit of mindful eating. When you eat mindfully, you will appreciate the flavor of every bite and will more likely feel full after eating.
4. Smaller plates = smaller portion sizes.
It’s much easier to overeat when too much food is served up right in front of you. By plating your meals on smaller plates, you’re more inclined to stick to healthier portions.
Comment below to share any tips you have for spring cleaning your diet! Remember not to be too hard on yourself for breaking a healthy habit or not quite reaching your goal. Instead, keep trying!
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