Spring into Action: 5 Tips to Stay on Track with Your Diet!
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By Joash Guevarra
Winter is more than just the cold temperature. It can also affect your appetite and cause weight gain. Fortunately, the start of spring is the perfect time to burn calories and shed that extra weight. What’s more is that warmer temperatures can also help you eat less, making it easier to burn even more calories.
Rallie McAllister, the author of "Healthy Lunchbox: The Working Mom's Guide to Keeping You and Your Kids Trim," states that people can gain 1 to 2 pounds during the cold months, and even more if they are already overweight. However, gaining weight is a manageable problem. Lyssie Lakatos, the co-founder of the 21-Day Body Reboot program, explains that during warmer months, people tend to eat less as their bodies work and burn more calories to keep them cool. This effect makes spring the perfect time to start switching to a weight-loss diet.
4 Foods to Add to Your Spring Diet
Transitioning to a new and healthy diet can be challenging, but it's definitely achievable. One approach is to gradually incorporate nutritious foods into your diet to enhance your well-being. Here are some examples of foods that you can try adding to your next meal:
Spring is a great time to eat vitamin and fibre-rich foods, including berries that are now in season and easily available at local markets. Berries are rich in antioxidants that boost energy and immunity and are low in natural sugars, making them perfect for people reducing their sugar intake. Berries can be enjoyed alone or as an addition to desserts, smoothies, oatmeal, and more.
Teas, in addition to berries, are an excellent source of antioxidants and amino acids such as L-theanine, which can slow down caffeine absorption and promote sustained focus and energy.
For a nutritious source of fibre, consider whole grains such as millet, barley, quinoa, and oats, which can lower total cholesterol, prevent strokes, protect against cancer, and more. Adding them to your spring diet can be highly beneficial.
Adding greens to your meals is always a good idea when switching diets. Cabbage, kale, and spinach are excellent examples of greens that are rich in nutrients like potassium, calcium, antioxidants, fibre, and protein. Additionally, incorporating bitter greens such as collards and chicory can help lower bad cholesterol.
How to Stay on Track With Your Spring Diet?
Consume Less Alcohol
To stay on track with your spring diet, add nutritious foods and change unpleasant dietary habits like alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol can trigger hunger and disrupt your diet, potentially leading to weight gain. Alcoholic drinks provide empty calories, which can affect your weight loss efforts. If you don't want to give up alcohol completely, limit your consumption to one or two glasses per day.
Drink More Glasses of Water
Resisting the temptation to indulge in sugary or greasy foods can be a challenge for many people. However, there are numerous strategies that can be adopted to remain committed to your dietary goals. One of the simplest yet effective ways is through consistent consumption of water.
According to Dr. Albert Do, a gastroenterologist and clinical director of the fatty liver program at Yale Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, drinking water before meals can aid in suppressing appetite. By consuming a glass of water an hour before a meal, your brain is afforded sufficient time to dispatch hormonal signals of satiety, which can decrease hunger pangs.
In addition, it is worth noting that drinking water can potentially increase your metabolism. Although the initial effects may not be noticeable, Cynthia Sass, a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics in Los Angeles, affirms that long-term benefits are likely to be experienced.
Maintain Proper Protein Intake
Maintaining adequate protein intake is crucial for a healthy spring diet. While fruits and vegetables are important, it's important not to neglect protein-rich foods. This macronutrient offers numerous benefits, including muscle preservation, faster recovery, hormone regulation, and hunger suppression.
However, it's important to choose healthy protein sources in order to maximise their benefits. Some examples of healthy protein-rich foods include fish, tofu, chicken breast, chickpeas, and almonds. Incorporating these into your meals will not only ensure you're meeting your protein needs but will also help you maintain a well-rounded and nutritious diet.
Schedule Your Meals
Maintaining discipline is key to sticking to your spring diet. It cannot be easy to keep track of the nutrients you consume with impromptu meals. That's why it's essential to plan your meals daily, weekly, or monthly.
Basheerah Enahora, the owner of BE Nutrition in Charlotte, North Carolina, advises that meal planning helps individuals purchase more nutritious foods from the grocery store. In addition, having a grocery list prevents you from making bad decisions.
If you're new to meal planning, creating a schedule that suits your needs is important. Then, make changes until you're comfortable with the schedule. For instance, you can either spend a day prepping your meals for the week or spread them out over several days. Being flexible keeps you motivated to stay on track with your spring diet.
Record Your Progress
Lastly, you must keep track of your progress regularly as it can inform you if you're doing things right or if you need to make some changes. Monitoring your progress allows you to focus on your goals, assess your current situation easily, and even gives you the benefit of creating a meal plan. Additionally, positive results motivate you to continue.
However, only spend a little bit of time monitoring your progress. Goals like weight loss can take days or even weeks before you notice significant results.
The cold months of winter can significantly affect your appetite and even cause weight gain. Fortunately, the arrival of spring also brings about the perfect opportunity to change your diet. These 5 tips will help you focus on your goals and stay on track with your diet.
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