Spring is here (and has been for the past few weeks), so that means it is time to get back on track with your health. If you feel like you lost momentum with your weight-loss or just healthy eating journey, get your engines revved up. As a Dietitian, I often start to get a lot of clients during this time. Many are looking to get in shape for the summer and fit into a certain bathing suit. While I am all about finding motivation for change, you don't need a special time during the year to get started. Regardless, with the cold weather fading, more people are looking to get moving and get back on track, which I fully support. Today, I have for you my top 5 tips for springing back into your health!
Tip #1 - See a Dietitian
There is so much information in the media today about nutrition; some fact and some fiction. It seems like everywhere you turn, there is a new diet program, new supplement, new food you should be eating, you name it. Meeting with a Dietitian means that you will have an expert giving you the most up-to-date nutrition research. They will help you sift through all of the clutter and find a happy and healthy middle ground for you. One of the awesome things with working with a Dietitian is that everything is personalized. There is no one-size-fits-all approach or meal plan for that matter. As a Dietitian, my focus is to help YOU to reach your goals. I (like other RDs) provide you with resources, support, guidance, and more. So, do yourself a favor this Spring and check-out some RDs in your area. Also, call your insurance company because many allow you to see a Dietitian for FREE, can't beat that.
--> For more information on the services I provide as a Dietitian, click the LINK
Tip #2 - Get to Planning
I have said it before and I will say it again, planning is key to your success! I often find that the times where most of my clients struggle end up being when they don't plan. I am not saying you need to plan out every single piece of food that goes in your mouth; however, have at least a general idea for the week. Commit to yourself and healthy living by taking a few moments during the week to brainstorm a menu plan and build a shopping list. Plan to have back-ups meal ideas for busy days. Plan for snacks on-the-go. Having a plan will take that guesswork out of things. It makes choosing healthy foods easier since they are already purchased and prepared.
-->For more tips on meal planning, click the LINK
Tip #3 - Cut the Added Sugar
There is so much added sugar in the diet of the majority of Americans today. Make it a goal this spring/summer to cut the added sugars. Eliminate sugary beverages and swap to something unsweetened or naturally sweetened with fresh fruit slices (not juice). Cut the processed and sugary snacks and incorporate more veggies. High intake of refined, added sugars, can lead to cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and other types of lifestyle-related diseases. Cutting back on added sugars is definitely hard; however, your body will certainly thank you later.
Tip #4 - Eat More Whole Foods
Most Americans are not getting the recommended intake for fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables not only provide fiber, which can help with weight-loss, weight management, blood sugar control, and decreasing cholesterol, but also, antioxidants, which can help to boost your immune health and decrease your risk for certain types of cancers. Try to ditch a lot of the highly processed foods this spring. Focus on adding whole, real, foods like fresh/frozen fruit and veggies, lean proteins like beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and whole grains like quinoa or brown rice. By focusing on mainly whole foods, you will provide your body with the nutrients and ultimately the fuel that it needs.
--> For more tips on increasing your fiber intake, click the LINK
Tip #5 - Get Moving
Last, but not least, is to get moving. Try to not only be more active throughout the day, but to also dedicate some time to cardio and resistance (weight) training. Challenge yourself to bump up your activity level weekly. Don't get comfortable in the same routine and don't fool yourself into thinking that just standing and moving around your desk will cut it. Get your heart rate up! The weight training or resistance type training will also help you to increase lean body mass and boost your resting metabolism. If you don't have a program in place, see if you can work with a trainer (even just to get yourself started) or look for a reputable exercise program online.
I hope these 5 tips help you to spring into healthy living! Leave a comment and let me know what tip helped you the most or what you are doing now to better your health.