Cleaning out your pantry
By Doralise Halepis, Nutrition Student
The peak season of dangerous juice cleanses, fasting diets and extreme workouts is among us. Too many times we witness people harm their bodies in the name of summer, only to worsen their health in the following months. This season, why not try a different approach? Using the following tips to clean up your diet and pantry will not only help you achieve those weight loss goals, but improve your overall wellbeing.
Improving your diet
It’s so simple to get caught up in the branding messages marketers portray on our supermarket items. ‘Low Fat’, ‘Nourishing’ and ‘Healthy’ are just some of the few that are used to grab our attention and entice us to purchase those sugar and additive laden products. Replacing these items with fresh produce, unrefined and additive free foods is a great way to kick-start your new healthy lifestyle.
Eat more fruit and veg
When you fill up on the good stuff there is a lot less chance you’ll reach for the bad after a meal. Increasing your fruit and veg intake can be as simple as cutting up carrots as a snack or mincing up an assortment to add to a bolognaise mince. The possibilities are endless! Aim for 3 serves of different vegetables in each meal to increase nutrient value of each meal. Craving something sweet? Reach for the fruit basket instead. A sprinkle of cinnamon on a banana or some nut butter on apple is a great way to keep things exciting!
Cut back on the alcohol
We don’t need to remind you of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, but even having a few beverages on a regular basis can have detrimental effects on your health and impact your weight loss efforts. Stick to one or two glasses of wine on those special occasions to avoid compromising all your hard work!
Avoid drastic diets
Juice cleanses, fasts and other types of ridiculous diets may offer a quick weight drop, but it is inevitable that this weight will come back (and possibly even more) after the initial diet. Not only are these diets difficult to follow, you often are restricting your body from the nutrients in needs in order to function properly. Eat well, eat often, move more and your body will do the rest!
Listen to your body
Recognising signs of hunger, dehydration and hunger are vital in weight loss and overall health. When your body becomes deprived of what it really needs, signals get confused, i.e. thirst for hunger, which won’t assist any weight loss efforts. Addressing your body’s needs correctly will help you reach better health and a greater understanding of your body.
Spring Clean your Pantry
If you find yourself reaching for those not so healthy ingredients and snacks on a regular basis, it might be time to think about what you are putting in the trolley at the supermarket. Restricting the access you have to processed, refined foods at home, lessens the chance they have ending up on your plate.
Above are some suggestions to help spring clean our ever-accumulating pantries. When shopping at the supermarket, try and do the majority of your shopping around the aisles (fresh produce section, deli counter). If you need to visit the aisles for dry goods, minimise distractions by planning ahead and knowing exactly what you need.