Spring clean your diet

As we head into the warmer months, many of us wonder just how we managed to gain those extra kilos. Follow these easy tips so you can enjoy summer with renewed energy and a spring in your step.

Eating well isn’t rocket science. It’s more to do with making small incremental health habits. So these five tips will enable you to retrain your mind in order to enjoy the physical benefits.

1. Get fruity

Take advantage of all the delicious fruits which are back in season by starting the day with a breakfast of colour and vitamins. Start by adding strawberries or apricots and some low-fat yoghurt to a serve of fibre-packed cereal. The protein in the yoghurt will keep you fuller for longer, so you will be less likely to snack. Or for an ‘eggstraordinary’ kick, increase your daily iron intake by adding a handful of wilted spinach to scrambled eggs.

2. Give water a go

It’s surprising how frequently we can mistake thirst for hunger. To fight those in-between meal cravings, it’s important to stay hydrated, particularly if you suffer from regular headaches or often feel tired or lethargic. So make sure you aim for 6-8 glasses a day. You’ll quickly feel the benefits.

3. Safe snacking

If you find you crave a sugar hit between meals, it’s worth considering adding more protein to your diet. Eating protein keeps you full for longer and reduces the temptation to snack on unhealthy foods between meals. Fruit, low-fat yoghurt, home-made muesli bars and nuts are all healthy snack options.  And for those occasions when something more substantial is required, a piece of wholegrain bread with peanut butter will keep you going until your next meal.

4. Reduce stimulants

Many people rely on sugar and caffeine to get their day underway, but your morning cuppa could be doing you more harm than good. But it’s not just added sugar which causes problems. Caffeinated drinks can also cause heart palpitations and restlessness, ‘jumpy legs’ syndrome and fatigue. Instead, try unsweetened decaffeinated tea or coffee and enjoy the difference in your energy levels.

5. Plan your diet

When pressed for time, what often comes to hand is take-away, or highly processed foods. Try, instead, to create a simple, weekly meal plan so that you can shop wisely in advance, even including a treat or two along the way.

This article was supplied by Australia’s leading retirement website YourLifeChoices www.yourlifechoices.com.au.

This article provides general health advice. For any specific health concerns contact your doctor.