Five Top Tips to ‘Spring Clean’ Your Diet So You Can be Summer Ready

Spring is here!

The weather is warming up and the layers of clothes are coming off!

It seems so exciting – but for many people, it’s a sobering reminder that summer is a few months away. And that means it’s time to start shedding those ‘layers’ that we put on during the winter.

But instead of jumping on the latest cleanse or making plans to hit the gym every day, try these 5 tried, tested, and true tips to help you get summer ready!

1.     Prioritize Protein

Protein is an essential part of a balanced diet and when it comes to weight loss and body composition – it is hands down the most important macronutrient to eat. Why? Because it not only helps to fuel and grow our lean muscle mass, it boosts our metabolism, reduces our appetite and helps to improve a number of weight-regulating hormones.

Most people (especially women) aren’t getting anywhere close to an adequate amount of protein in their diet – which in many cases is the number one culprit for #weightlossstruggles.

To make sure you’re eating a sufficient amount of protein, a good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 20-30 grams of protein per meal and include a source of protein with your snacks. Lean sources of protein like chicken, turkey, white fish and shellfish are great options. And always have a great protein powder on hand to boost your protein when your meals lack it.

2.   Fats = Fat Loss

Healthy fats are essential for weight loss and healthy weight maintenance! Fats fill you up quickly, curb your hunger and boost your metabolism.  While eating too much fat (and unhealthy fats like trans fats) can affect your weight loss success due to its high caloric value (9 calories per gram vs. 4 calories per gram for carbs and protein), including this nutrient in a balanced way will help you to achieve diet success. Foods high in fats such as avocado, nuts, nut butters and salmon, are more nutrient-dense than protein and carbohydrates, and will also keep you feeling fuller, longer. Not sure of what a good serving size is? A simple technique is to use your thumb to roughly determine a single serving.

3.     Carbs are Your Friend, Friend.

Carbs are the most demonized food in the diet industry today. It seems ironic considering the important role they play when it comes to weight loss and body composition goals. If you think of your metabolism as an oven, carbs are the wood that will fuel that fire. They give you energy for your workouts, improve your recovery, and oh yeah – are delicious AF! In fact, cutting carbs out for an extended period of time can actually slow down your metabolism.

The secret to having your carbs work with you and not against you is to choose whole grain options as well as starchy vegetables. These contain the most fiber. That means they’ll keep you feeling fuller, longer. So, make friends with carbs – it’s a beneficial relationship that will keep on giving. 😉

 4.     Don’t Drink Your Calories

Unless you’re able to go until lunch with just your bulletproof coffee in your belly – you may want to rethink having it as part of your morning routine. Bulletproof coffee, lattes, energy drinks, and green juices are just a few of the calorie culprits that the health industry encourages us to consume.  They can unknowingly be hindering our goals.

These delicious beverages can pack up to an entire meal’s worth of calories and won’t keep you feeling full for long. So be mindful of how many of these heavy-calorie-hitters you’re having each day. And ask yourself if they’re worth an entire meal’s worth of calories to you.

5. Consistency is Key

Ask any health and wellness coach and they’ll agree: Being consistent with your diet is key when it comes to weight loss success. Build consistency first, by picking a diet or lifestyle that you can stick to. Having a consistent approach to your weight loss not only allows your body time to adapt and to respond favourably to your diet, it helps you establish the healthy habits needed to achieve long-term success.

It’s important to be consistent in terms of how many meals we eat each day, as well as the timing of those meals. Research has found that adults who ate meals at the same time every day were less obese and had better insulin levels, even though they ate more calories over all. When we’re inconsistent with our meals and timing, it affects our body’s circadian rhythm (aka our internal clock). This is important because our metabolism, appetite, digestion, and the rate we process and burn off our food, follows a pattern that repeats every 24 hours. When we upset that process by eating at random times every day, we prevent our bodies from utilizing our food properly and may gain weight as a result.

Following these simple tips in your diet now, will not only have you summer ready in a few weeks, it will allow you to maintain your results long-term. Meaning that when spring time hits next year, the only thing you’ll be thinking about is which patios to hit up.

If you have any more questions about how to get your diet in check for summer, leave them in the comments below or feel free to email me at lindsey@thenourishcompany.ca.