Yes, beach season is on the horizon, and you have probably been hiding behind sweaters, jackets, and long pants. Have you been overindulging in comfort foods because the weather is still just too cold? Well, spring is here and has come early this year in much of the country. It’s time to “spring clean” your diet. Remember, just as you spring clean your house; don’t try to do it all at once. Tackle one part of it at a time, and you won’t give up because the task is too great.
Head to the pantry, refrigerator, and cookie jar. One shelf at a time. Out go all the goodies you still have hanging around from New Years, Valentines, Super Bowl, movie night. Toss all the chips, dips, candy, cookies, crackers, moldy cheese. Did you find things in the pantry, unopened, yet too tempting? Quickly load a grocery bag, place it directly in the trunk of your car, and drop it off at a food bank the next time you run errands. Needy families are hungry all year long, and would be happy to enjoy your overabundance of goodies. This task shouldn’t take too long, and can be divided up over several days.
Make a list of tastey, yet healthy meals for the week or two ahead. Post a copy of your plan on the refrigerator. Having a meal plan saves many resolves to healthier eating. Be sure to include healthy snacks, and things that can be prepared in a relatively quickly. You won’t be tempted to stop for fast food or order a pizza just because you are “starving!”
Head to the store with your list. Shop as quickly as possible. Stays away from the chip and cookie aisle, those days are over. Don’t get carried away with too much fresh produce at once. If we overdo it on these items, they will go bad before you can eat them all up. How likely are you to have a big salad if the veggies are wilted and brown? Who wants to waste their food dollars by throwing things out? Fresh items need to be restocked more frequently. Keep a short running list of items to quickly pick up when you pass the store. And the most important thing of all, stick to the list. Your body will thank you.
Rinse and cut up produce. Package it for mealtime ease. Have some snacks like carrots, celery, cucumbers, in small bags to grab and go. Place a bowl of fruit on the counter. Load up your clean pantry and refrigerator with healthy food items. Don’t they look delicious? Follow the food plan. Nothing needs to get pushed to the back, forgotten and wasted. Think about your upcoming bikini body instead of the ten lowfat yogurts hanging out together, calling your name. Their time will come.
Set exercise goals. Don’t go overboard, that will lead to burnout and possible failure. Go for a walk, bike ride, swim, try a video, and join a class with a friend. Grab your dusty tennis racket and head out. Anything to get you moving is great. Try to do more as you become more fit. Having a workout buddy helps you stick to your goals.
Spring cleaning your diet is a great way to kick off the good weather rolling in and getting healthy and excited about summer. With just a few simple steps, you’re on your way to shedding those holiday pounds before it’s time to pull out the swim suit.