Posted in: Lifestyle
How To Spring Clean Your DietSpring is in full-swing and before you know it, the glorious British summertime will be here – getting our hopes up by making us think we can host a barbecue (but then dashing said hopes by sending a torrent of rain our way!). If you’re gearing up for a summer of outdoor dining and want to give your diet a bit of a spring clean, read on to find out how to cleanse your eating habits.
Put bad winter habits to bedDuring the cold, dark winters we tend to turn to comfort food, whether subconsciously or not, to divert out attention from the gloomy environment. It’s for this reason that you may find yourself eating rich stews, pasta, roasts and not forgetting those sweet, sweet desserts and time-saving takeaways. As we head into summer, make an effort to ditch the hearty yet heavy meals and cut out the fast-food, switching them out for lighter options such as salads, fish, frittatas, wraps, and fruit-based creations.
Reorganise your fridge and cupboardsThe first step on your way to a healthier, tastier, summer diet should be to have a purge of your food stocks. As we mentioned, it’s likely that the contents of your fridge and cupboards comprise largely of processed comfort foods that may taste great but won’t do anything to help you feel light and spritely. Go through each checking food packaging labels and bin anything that has more than 5g of fat. Then, replace all those heavy sauces, dips, and snackfoods with healthier options like fresh fruit, plain yoghurt for smoothies, pre-cut veg, and hummus.
Exercise portion controlMost people tend to put on a little extra weight over the winter months and that’s no surprise given that Christmas (and all the lovely food and booze that brings) falls right in the middle of the season. We also tend to develop a nibbling habit during winter as we don’t go out as much and sit in front of TVs in the warm, chomping on delicious snacks. Getting back into balanced healthy eating isn’t too difficult if you pay attention to your portions. Little steps like eating straight from a box/bag/carton (when it’s all out on a plate you can see how much you’re actually eating), buying high-calorie foods in single-serving units, and eating a wealth of water-rich, low-fat foods like fruit.
Refresh your fresh produce outlookStarchy carbohydrate-laden root vegetables make up a large part of our diets throughout winter. These foods are available across all seasons, so it’s easy to mindlessly fill your shopping trolley with them and wind up eating the same things over and over. The advent of spring provides an ideal opportunity to refresh your staple food choices though as seasonal fruit and veg such as squashes, long beans, bell peppers, butter lettuce, okra, apricots, lychees, and watermelon, makes its way to the shelves. Farmers markets happen more regularly in summer too and are a great way to pick up wholesome, non-processed meat. Check out our Food Swaps Infographic to learn how you can eat healthier, easier.
Strip out the dehydrating drinksThe dark, cold nights generally send us Brits scuttling to the comfort of the pub (or at least sees us opening a bottle of wine and sitting down in front of Netflix). Similarly, many simply can’t function without a strong coffee on freezing winter mornings. But, as the warmer weather approaches you’ll want to ditch the booze and caffeine as both are diuretics and will make you dehydrated before you can say “that is a tasty beverage”. We’re not suggesting you cut out coffee and alcohol completely, but switching your regular drinks to iced water will help hydrate you, flush the body of toxins and increase your metabolism. Consuming less diuretics will ultimately result in increased energy levels and alertness – just what you need to enjoy summertime fun! For more tips and advice on healthy living, have a browse of our lifestyle category, or if it's spring recipe inspiration you're after, head over to our Top 5 Spring Recipe Ideas feature.
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