Spring is in the air and it’s time to get off the couch and clean out the pantry. Many of us have spent the winter hibernating inside our homes, snacking on our favorite comfort foods and trying to stay active despite the snow and treacherous commutes. Now that spring is here, we’re able to get back outside and restock the kitchen with our favorite fruits and vegetables.
You can take some simple, easy steps to avoid gaining weight this spring, such as getting active outside and cleaning out the remnants of your pantry. If you’re looking to try something new and exciting, sign up for a local 5K or join a group exercise class like Zumba or kickboxing. If starting slow appeals to you, try removing one unhealthy item from your current diet — soda or white bread, for example. Small, effective steps will prevent weight gain and help you work towards a beach-ready body by summer.
In addition to taking the stairs and revamping your pantry, exchange restaurant outings for home-cooked meals. By choosing to cook your own food, you’ll lower your salt consumption (bloating — eek!) and maximize your ability to integrate fresh ingredients into your diet. While you’re prepping your meal, be aware of snacking. Most of us nibble on ingredients while cooking, oblivious of the extra calories we’re consuming.
Finally, be aware of what you’re drinking. Whether it’s with soda, juice, or alcohol, many of us are guilty of drinking our calories throughout the day. Trade your afternoon soda for a bottle of water or a cup of tea. While you’re at it, consider skipping the second cocktail at happy hour or trading in your usual calorie-packed margarita for an antioxidant-rich glass of red wine.
This spring, avoid weight gain with simple, easy changes and fitness-related goals. Delve into something new and get involved, whether it’s bicycling or a group class. Remain conscious of the calories you’re eating (and drinking!) and trade processed, sodium-packed ingredients for fresh produce, grains, and protein. You’ll be beach-body ready in no time.
Clean Out the Pantry
Many of us are guilty of stocking our pantry with comfort foods and calorie-rich snacks. Instead, choose low-sodium soups, canned beans, and 100 percent whole grains and nuts, like almonds. “I recommend a healthy granola bar that is low in sugar and high in fiber, such as KIND Nuts & Spices,” says Keri Gans, nutritionist and author of The Small Change Diet.
Ease Up On the Cocktails
Be aware of those post-work cocktails. Many of them are packed with calories and sugar. That 8-ounce Long Island iced tea you’re drinking contains up to 780 calories. Yikes! Instead, opt for red wine or vodka and club soda. You’ll instantly lower your calorie content and up your antioxidant intake.