Did the first day of spring strike a bit of fear in your belly? Are you nervous to start shedding your winter layers for shorts and tanks? Maybe you let your healthy diet habits hibernate throughout the winter? Well, today is the day to get back on track and hit the reset button on your healthy habits. Instead of trying a new fad diet to shed a few pounds this season, try these 10 tips to make sure you are bikini ready by summer.
1. Make a salad your meal at least 3 times a week. Salads don’t have to be the side-show of your meals. Get creative by adding a hearty dose of protein (chicken, tuna, tempeh, etc.), a good dressing, and other add-ons like roasted squash, fresh fruit, and nuts. For inspiration, check out my Greek salad with roasted vegetables or spicy tuna salad.
2. Drink at least 48 ounces of water a day. Fill a large water bottle up each morning and take it with you to work. Sip on it throughout the day and commit to finishing the bottle before you get home. Simple! Too many of us walk around dehydrated all the time which can sometimes be confused for being hungry. Drink some water next time you feel like snacking and only if you are still hungry – grab a snack.
3. Cut back on processed carbohydrates. Processed carbohydrates like white bread, chips, soda, juice, and snacks can wreak havoc on your blood sugar which contributes to weight gain. Instead, focus on whole grains and fresh fruits as your only carbohydrate sources.
4. Eat breakfast. Studies indicate that people who are successful with weight loss are most likely breakfast eaters. By skipping breakfast, you are throwing your body into feast/famine mode so the food you eat at lunch is more likely to be stored rather than burned off for energy.
5. Add at least one serving of healthy fat to two of your meals each day. Fat is a beneficial and necessary part of a healthy diet. Incorporate healthy fats from whole foods rather than processed ones. Foods loaded with healthy fat include: nut butters, nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, tuna, and grass fed dairy.
6. Try some new whole grains. Next time you head to the grocery store, take a look at the bulk bins or gluten-free section. Pick up a new-to-you grain/legume like: amaranth, quinoa, lentils, millet, or barley. They are all loaded with healthy nutrients and fiber. You may even find a new favorite!
7.Go vegetarian one day a week. Numerous studies have shown that vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. So, why not reap some of the benefits without committing to being vegetarian 24/7? Going vegetarian even one day a week can still be beneficial. Need some recipe inspiration? Try: vegetarian tacos three ways, or mushroom lentil soup.
8. Have a serving of yogurt 3-4 times a week. Yogurt is one of my favorite healthy foods. It has protein, fat, calcium, and lots of gut-friendly bacteria that help alleviate constipation and bloating. A great way to start your morning off right is to top yogurt with fresh fruit and a homemade granola.
9. Add protein to your snacks. For a snack to truly satisfy your hunger until your next meal, it is best to add some protein. Try yogurt, string cheese, cottage cheese, almonds, hummus, or nut butter.
10. Move more. Ok, so this one isn’t technically a diet tip, but moving helps you burn calories and build muscle. Even if you can’t make it to the gym and don’t have any equipment at home, there are tons of great body weight workouts available online. Just 10-15 minutes of high intensity activity a few times a week has been shown to have healthy benefits!