With spring break only a few weeks away, it’s time to shed that winter weight and get more excited about wearing your new bikini and working on your tan. You don’t need to cut out a food group or deprive your sweet tooth, but it might be time to swap out that all-carb diet of pizza and mac and cheese for some healthier alternatives.
Here are some simple and easy-to-make snacks and food choices to make your transition easier:
1. Start your morning with an açaí bowl.
Contrary to popular belief, skipping breakfast will do more harm than good, even though it may seem like you’re cutting out calories from your diet. Breakfast sets the tone for the day by providing you with the necessary energy to get it started. Açaí bowls are a nutritious choice, as açaí is an antioxidant-rich berry that stimulates your immune system and boosts energy levels. Açaí bowls are easy to make and can contain a variety of fruits, nuts, and seeds.
2. Blend your veggies and fruits.
Vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories, and are important sources of many nutrients including potassium, dietary fiber, Vitamin A and C. Add a blended smoothie or juice to your routine to reintroduce a few servings of fruits and veggies into your diet. Blend fruits and vegetables with different proteins like milk, Greek yogurt, and also healthy fats like cashews or coconut oil. If you want to be even healthier, add spinach. Try one like Taste’s Like Ice Cream Kale Shake.
3. Stockpile healthy snacks like homemade trail mix.
Say goodbye to binging on your candy stash whenever you’re hungry. Keep healthy snacks on you at all times. Convenient go-tos are nuts, homemade trail mix, fruit and nut bars, and dried edamame. Healthy trail mix is easy to find at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, or you can even make your own by following these steps.
4. Add some spice to your life.
Spices are a great way to make healthy food more interesting. The extra kick of hot sauce or a jalapeño can make even the most bland diet food more palatable without adding extra calories and can also hike up your metabolism. Try this cumin rice and beans recipe here.
5. Eat more fish.
Fish is a high-protein, low-fat food that provides a range of health benefits. White-fleshed fish in particular is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein. Also, oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Try to eat fish 1-2 times a week like this delish spicy tuna on crispy rice recipe.
6. Get creative with your veggies.
Eating a diet rich in veggies keeps skin healthy and glowing, and your immune system strong. Find fun ways to mix veggies in with your meals, combining them with different flavorful foods. Adding some broccoli, onions, mushrooms (or other favorites) in with tofu or chicken, garlic, and quinoa makes for a delicious meal. Try this vegetable stir-fry with tofu and sesame ginger sauce recipe.
7. Always choose whole grains.
Make a simple swap by choosing 100% whole grains instead of highly processed white or enriched grains. Whole grains like barley, brown rice, and 100% whole grain bread provide greater nutrition such as fiber and energy rich B-vitamins. Quiona and flaxseed bread is always a safe choice.
8. Eat more fat.
Yes, you read that correctly. People who snack on healthy fats like a handful of almonds consume fewer calories over the course of the day. Take avocados, for example — most of the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated, which means it’s the heart-healthy kind that is key in lowering bad cholesterol. Try substituting avocados for butter or make some undeniably trendy avocado toast with this recipe.