Our attention to healthy eating may lapse a bit in the winter. And a little weight gain might be hidden by those cozy—and bulky— wool sweaters. But spring is here, and all the greenery may have you craving a little dietary refresh. A few small changes in your everyday diet can mean a healthier, fitter you. Here are some tips to get you started.
Spring clean your fridge and pantry.
It's OK to indulge when an intense craving strikes. But to really tune up your eating habits, be careful about keeping junk foods in the house. Get rid of those snacks that make you lose all control once you start eating them, as well as any junk you eat out of convenience.
- Give away junky snacks to unsuspecting friends or take them to the office.
- Restock with fresh, less-processed choices like low-sodium pretzels, hummus, light popcorn, baked chips, quinoa or nuts.
Skip the juice cleanses, detoxes and fad diets.
These "quick fixes" won’t result in any lasting weight loss. Depriving yourself isn’t healthy or productive, and it usually backfires.
- To lose weight, focus on a more moderate loss of around one pound a week, using a method that isn't based on intense restriction.1
- Remember that weight loss is about more than what you eat, it’s also how you exercise.
Start cooking; stop taking out.
Eating healthier is work. But putting in the effort to cook for yourself is worth it, especially in the long-term. It means you’re taking control of what you put into your body. On the weekend, shop and prepare for the week:
- One or two proteins, like a tray of chicken breasts and some black beans
- A pot or pan of starch, like roasted potatoes or brown rice
- Two to three vegetables (salad counts!)
Now you’re ready for lunches and suppers, and won’t be scrambling for takeout menus or going through the drive-through at the end of the day.
Cut back on the soda.
Cut calories by cutting out soda. Many people have a coffee in the morning, a soda for lunch and one for dinner, plus other drinks between meals. With these habits, the calories can add up quickly. Try these beverage tips:
- Add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or watermelon to your water.
- Mix things up by trying sparkling water.
Make one meal of the day veggie-based.
Recent data from the CDC says that 91 percent of Americans don’t meet their daily vegetable intake recommendations.2
Adults should eat at least 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day as part of a healthy diet.3
Slash the sugar.
Added sugar has no nutritional value. In excess, it can mess up your blood sugar, make you feel tired and contribute to diabetes. It is even linked to cardiovascular problems.
QualChoice Can Help
For help with improving your diet or other well-being goals, call 501.228.7111 or 800.235.7111 and ask to speak to a QCARE Health Coach.
* *Programs vary by group and benefit plan. Check with your health plan administrator to see if QCARE benefits are included with your plan.