Summer, particularly January, is the perfect time to improve your diet and spring-clean your health, but that doesn’t mean starving yourself or only drinking kale juice.
You don’t have to make radical changes, just pare back on the festive food, embrace seasonal ingredients and adopt some simple lifestyle changes. Aim for changes that have longevity to help you feel better and provide long-term benefits. Your body does a great job of detoxing your system of the excess food and alcohol you consume, but with a little help you can improve the process.
If your diet restricts calories too drastically or eliminates all protein-rich foods such as eggs, dairy and meat, then you’re working against your body’s natural process of detoxification, not with it. So switching to healthy grains, organic eggs, meats and vegetables will help your detoxification process.
Make simple changes to your diet. This includes treating meat as a side part of your meal, rather than the main event, swapping sweet processed snacks for fresh fruit, or only having one or two standard drinks three or fewer times per week. Giving yourself a couple of alcohol-free days always helps you sleep better and have more energy.
Identify which areas you need to address. If you’re skipping breakfast for example, prioritise breakfast as the healthiest meal of the day. If you start out with a healthy meal, you’re more likely to continue that way during the day. Alternately, if you graze constantly throughout the day, change your behaviour to sitting down to three wholesome plates of food at designated meal times. Snack on fresh fruit and vegetables rather than chips, chocolate, biscuits or cake.
Try to eat foods that are in season. Summer fruit and vegetables, salads, fresh fish, whole grains and lean proteins should all be on your menu. If you’re not exercising regularly, start by going for a daily 30-minute walk. You can increase this over time but first get into the routine of exercising daily.
Remember, simple changes add up over time. So start slowly and by the end of summer you’ll have new healthier eating and exercise habits and feel like you’re leaping out of your skin.