Yep, it’s spring, and you know what that means. For many people, spring is a season for themed monthly workouts, juice cleanses and swimsuit shopping. It is also a time where many people stress about their body image, what they are eating, and how to lose weight.
Diets are hard and aren’t always beneficial. They have the potential to create a “yo-yo” effect once you end your strict eating plan. This effect causes you to potentially gain back the weight you lost, or even gain more. The best diets are those that contain little to no processed foods, a lot of fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and lean protein.
Here are a few tips that will help you eat healthy, feel good, and allow you to reach your goals as well.
1. Taste the Rainbow
No I don’t mean eat a bag of skittles. I mean eat colorful fruits and veggies. It’s a known fact that the more colorful the food, the healthier it is.
It’s best to stick with fresh fruits and vegetables for the most nutrient rich meal. Eating fruit salad as a snack, or veggies sticks with hummus is an easy way to get your required daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Here’s a simple snack recipe that is filling and loaded with fresh colorful berries.
2. Eat in Moderation
If you are trying to lose weight, don’t try a celebrity ‘fad’ diet. Fad diets are meant to help you lose weight quickly but they don’t help you sustain the weight you lost in the long run. Diets like these cause the “yo-yo” effect I’m talking about.
Here’s the best idea: instead of restricting yourself by going vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free, simply eat in moderation. Yes, you can still have a big bowl of spaghetti for lunch, but then have something small like a salad for dinner. Eating in moderation and more specifically eating when you are hungry (and not just bored) is the key to reaching your goals.
3. Use fitness apps to stay on track
MyFitness Pal is the top free Health & Fitness app on the iPhone App Store. It allows you to set goals, manage weight changes, meals and fitness, and has an option to scan products that you eat. Odds are, once you log what you eat, you will start to eat less once you see how much and how many calories you are eating. The app allows you to add friends too, which can help increase motivation to reach a set goal.
4. Shop wisely
The key to healthy grocery shopping is buying things on the outermost aisles. This means buying produce, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and whole grains. Its also important to make a list and plan out your meals to get the most out of your shopping trip.
5. Decrease the size of your meals throughout the day
Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, should be the biggest meal. Lunch and dinner should be relatively smaller and lighter. That way you start off your day with an energizing meal that will help you tackle on your daily activities and as you go along the day, you decrease your meals so that you don’t go to sleep feeling super full.
6. Strategize your snacking
Snacking can make or break your healthy eating goals. Eating raw fruits are the best and most filling snacks. A banana with peanut butter or almond butter is an example of a healthy snack that will help curb your hunger and keep you full longer. Check out this cool chart if you’re having cravings.
7. Treat yo’ self
Don’t deprive yourself of the good stuff. Its okay to treat yourself every once in a while. If you are trying to stick with your goal, reward yourself with new workout clothes, fresh berries and a square of dark chocolate or even a small dessert like ice cream or a cupcake.
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