If you’ve fallen off the healthy wagon lately, summer is the best time to get back on track with a healthy eating plan. Whether you are trying to lose a few pounds before heading on vacation, or you are feeling a little sluggish and need to regain some of your lost energy, these small changes can make a big difference to your health and possibly your waistline.
- To lose just 1 pound, you need to burn or eliminate 3,500 calories. It’s easier to reduce your food caloric intake by 500 calories a day for a week than to try to burn all that up during one workout. This is easy to do if you simply cut out high-calorie foods, such as desserts, cookies, chips, and other unnecessary snacks, or reduce your portion sizes.
- There are several apps to help you track your calorie intake such as ChooseMyPlate.gov. You can download this to your smartphone or ipad you’ve purchased from Buydig.com and track your diet and activity.
- Make half of the food on your plate fruits and vegetables. Your plate should look like a rainbow consisting of red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, and fruits for dessert. If eating fruits or vegetables isn’t your thing, try drinking them instead. You can juice your fruits and vegetables at the touch of a button with the Cuisinart Compact Juice Extractor from Buydig.com.
- Switch from refined-grain to whole grain foods that provide fuel and a healthy dose of fiber for your body. Look for ingredients like whole wheat, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, rolled oats, or wild rice under the list of ingredients. These items should be first on the list.
- Switch to low-fat or fat-free milk. These still have the same essential nutrients and the same amount of calcium as whole milk.
- Select lean meats and proteins such as 90% lean ground beef, turkey or chicken breasts. Seafood is an excellent choice of lean protein. You should try to eat at least eight ounces a week.
- Major sources of added calories are soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks. Cut calories by drinking water instead. If you aren’t a huge water lover, simply pour your water into the Copco Hydro Bottle and add a splash of 100% lemon or lime juice, or strawberries for flavoring. Toss the bottle into your purse, backpack or cup holder and you’re all set.
- Drinking green tea can help with your weight loss plan. For maximum benefits, choose brands that use all-natural ingredients and contain no artificial preservatives.
- Resist artificial sweeteners even though they say low or zero calories. They have been found to actually increase your appetite. Choose natural sweeteners such as honey instead.
- For a handy snack, keep cleaned and cut-up fruits and vegetables like peppers, carrots, apple slices, watermelon, grapes and orange slices in the refrigerator.
- Instead of adding salt while cooking, opt for summer’s fresh herbs and spices to add flavoring. This helps to cut down on your excess sodium intake, which can hinder weight loss.
- Swap out the cookies in your cookie jar for a basket full of fresh fruit instead.
- Plan ahead by packing healthy snacks for road trips, flights or work. Some easy options include clementines, bananas, apples and 100-calorie packs of almonds. Unpeeled fruit is OK when going through airport security.
- Cooking from scratch at home helps you control your calories and portions while saving you money too. Your weight gain could possibly be coming from the amount of sugar, salt and other ingredients found in processed foods. Cooking from scratch allows you to choose whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish. Create your own healthy salsa or soups using the Cuisinart PowerBlend Duet Blender/Food Processor from Buydig.com.
You might fall off the wagon for a single meal or even for an entire day. Just don’t let it become a long-term event. Allow yourself to eat what you want occasionally if it means keeping your sanity. It will help you stick to a healthy regimen in the long term.