We’ve just passed this years half way mark and that New Year’s resolution you made back in January to eat healthier has long been forgotten. However, it’s not too late, summer is a great time to revamp your diet.
Here’s how you can get started.
Drink plenty of water
In these hot summer months there is nothing more important than drinking plenty of water. The Eatwell guide recommends 6-8 glasses a day. Whilst there are the obvious benefits to drinking plenty of water such as preventing dehydration, it can also benefit other things such as weight loss.
A new study by the University of Birmingham found that on average people who drank a glass of water 30 minutes before eating a meal lost around 2.7 pounds more than people who didn’t. They put this down to the fact that drinking water can make you feel more full and therefore less hungry. This means that when you have your meal half an hour later you are less likely to over indulge.
It is also important to cut down on fizzy drinks, which can contain a lot of added sugar. You could start by cutting it down to no more than one drink a day and eventually cut it down to once a week as the occasional treat.
Establish a healthy pattern
Rather than focusing on percentages and counting the calories summer is the perfect time to eat fresh, whole food. Michelle Dudash, RDN, Cordon Bleu-certified chef recommends planning for the week ahead and being armed with streamlined recipes. This doesn’t mean you need to keep a lot of food just a few staple ingredients that can be used to make a last-minute healthy meal at a moments notice. This could include grains (quinoa, brown rice and lentils), healthy oils (olive, canola, peanut), nuts and seeds as well as canned tomatoes that could be used to make a quick and easy sauce. It is also important to eat a balanced meal that combines different food groups as this has been found increase your metabolism.
Heather Mangieri a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the US suggests you could set aside some time at the weekend to prepare and store healthy meals for the week. These meals would then be stored in the freezer and you can defrost the day before in the fridge and quickly reheat them. However it is important to follow the Food Standards Agency guidelines on reheating food.
Have fun in the kitchen
It is important to cook as much as you can, as although many of us are busy and it’s a lot easier to eat away from home these meals can be full of added sugar and salt and are a source of extra calories. You could start small by cooking once or twice a week using the advice above and gradually build up. A great way of doing this is to make extra so you have some leftovers for the next day, which you could either take to work in a sealed container or leave in the fridge to be reheated when you get home.
You can also add more excitement by being more adventuresome and trying new things. Try going to your local market and buying the fruit and veg that’s in season that you wouldn’t normally try. Alternatively go to your supermarket and buy the weekly specials, which is a great way of trying new things as well as saving yourself a bit of money.
If you would like more advice on revamping your diet this summer use the link below to talk to one of our nutritionists now.