Spring brings a fresh, more motivating mindset when it comes to our health. Whether it’s a desire to look towards summer or get back into a healthy routine postholiday, we seem more attentive to the foods we’re eating and the amount we’re moving (or not moving!).
This is partly due to the fact that with the warming of spring weather, our body naturally craves a detox and lighter meals over the heartier winter ones. The extra daylight also helps to improve our mood; it’s a natural motivator, both for our food and fitness choices.
Whatever your reason for wanting a fresh start this spring, here are three simple ways you can reset your diet to improve your health.
1. USE YOUR WEEKENDS.
One of the key components to resetting your diet is to be prepared. If you take a little time each weekend to plan and prepare some of your food for the week, you’ll be more likely to stay on target. Keep it simple though: you don’t need to start with a full meal plan and with all your meals prepared!
Start by taking just 30 minutes every week to create a simple meal plan. For example:
Monday: Burrito bowl
Tuesday: Zucchini pasta
Wednesday: Chicken salad
Thursday: Turkey and quinoa meatballs
Friday: Eat out (make it healthy!)
Saturday: Lentil, hemp, and avocado salad
Then, begin taking another 30 minutes to prepare a few foods to simplify your week: wash your fruits, and precut a large container of vegetables. It’s that simple!
2. DRINK YOUR WATER.
This isn’t breaking news. You know water is important, and I’m sure you know that you should probably be drinking more of it.
See, your body uses water for everything from your tissues to organs to cells—which helps with many bodily functions, including regulating your temperature. It’s critical that you drink water regularly throughout the day: breathing, sweating, and even digestion make you lose water. A regular water intake helps keep your body functioning at its optimum level.
You should aim to drink at least 8–10 glasses of water a day. Try starting your day with lemon water to rehydrate you after eight hours without fluids. Simply staying hydrated also helps keep you more aware of your food choices and helps prevent misinterpreting your thirst signal for a hunger signal.
3. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SNACKS.
The last tip is to pay attention to your snacks. This is where most people trip up in their healthy eating.
Either you’ve eaten too few calories, so you make up for it at snack time, or you feel freedom with snacks because you’ve had so much self-control for every other meal. Snacks can be full of calories, sugar, preservatives, and food dyes if you’re not careful.
Snacks are meant to be your body’s “support” throughout the day. They are meant to give your brain a little extra thinking power and your body a little extra energy to get you through the humps of the day.
When trying to get healthy, snacks are a key opportunity to nourish your body. It’s a great place to start your health journey, and as you nail those healthy snacks, you can expand that knowledge to your meals.
Choose snacks that are high in heathy fats and protein such as eggs to give long-lasting energy and sustenance, or choose snacks with natural sugars and fibre like dates and almond butter when you need a quick pick-me-up.
Your health does not require perfection. Taking small steps every day towards your health will add up to big changes in the long run and will help you get a fresh start with your health, reset your diet, and reach your health goals.