Yes, the temperatures are cold and the snow is starting to fall, but that makes it the perfect time to begin working on your physical fitness. It is during this time of year that people start setting goals and making resolutions for the new year and weight loss is often at the top of the list. They work hard over the next few months trying to adopt healthy lifestyle habits to get in shape and improve their health.
While a good workout routine is essential to getting the body you want, that’s not all that needs to be taken into consideration. If you’re going to fit into those cheeky swim bottoms, bridesmaid dress, or look good in short shorts in the summer you’ll also need to be mindful of what you eat. Below are some tips on how you can change your diet and work your way to a healthier and slimmer you.
Cook at Home
One of the first bits of advice is to stop eating out for a while. Many restaurants use processed foods and ingredients (like sugar and salt) that aren’t kind to the waistline. Cooking from home allows you to control the types of foods you’re eating, the ingredients used, and how it is prepared. If you’re new to cooking, there are lots of easy recipes online you can try. To help with portion, nutritional value, and ease of cooking, you can also invest in meal-kit services.
Consume More Vegetables
Though lean cuts of meat can be a great source of protein, studies have shown that people who consume less meat essentially consume less saturated fat, which can lower the risk of developing heart disease and cancer. You don’t have to cut out meat altogether if you don’t want to, but eating less of it can definitely help you to slim down and look your best. Start incorporating more veggies into your diet with each meal. You can add veggies to a smoothie for breakfast, indulge in salads for lunch, and prepare green leafy veggies like spinach and kale as a side dish for dinner.
Mind Your Portions
Too much of any kind of food can cause you to pack on the pounds. If you want to slim down in time for warmer weather, it’s going to be necessary that you pay attention to the portions. Your meat and starchy sides should be smaller while you can pile up a bit more on veggies. As weighing everything you eat could become a tedious job there are ways to manage your portions without the hassle. You can use portion control utensils or plates which will make measuring a lot easier.
Steer Clear of Sugar
Sugar is one of the most addictive ingredients found in food. Not only is sugar addictive, but it’s packed with nothing more than calories. Increased consumption of sugar also increases your chances of becoming obese and developing serious conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. Though it may be a challenge at first, it is ideal that you cut out the refined sugar. Instead, you can switch to consuming things made of all-natural juices like fruit juice (fresh squeezed, no sugar added). There are also other sweetener options like raw honey, agave, or stevia.
Consume More Whole Grains
Refined grains like white bread, rice, and pasta, are processed. During this process, the grain’s outer coat is stripped reducing its nutritional value. They also break down into the body as sugar, which explained above, can lead to weight gain, heart disease, or worse. Whole grains, on the other hand, are packed with key vitamins and nutrients needed to improve your overall health. They are also good for proper digestion and naturally suppressing your appetite (meaning when you eat them, you feel fuller longer). There are lots of whole-grain bread you can try along with pasta and rice to continue eating some of your favorite dishes.
If you’re hoping to look great for the summer, you have to do more than just head to the gym. Evaluating and making changes to your diet such as those discussed above will essentially help you to feel and look better from the inside out.