Ah! The summer diet! Barbecues, burgers and ice cream; this season is full of indulgences – many lacking in nutrition. With the arrival of fall, many of us are returning to our routines and regular schedules. While getting back into the 9 to 5 is tough, getting back into a healthy meal plan can also be a challenge.
Here are four tips to help make the transition back to healthy eating as effective as possible:
1. Cut the red meat
As the weather begins to cool down, the need for outdoor cooking does as well. Although barbecued foods are a staple of summer, steak, hamburger and hot dog consumption needs to be cut back as the cooking moves indoors. Limit your red meat consumption by choosing healthier alternatives like chicken and turkey. Having one seafood meal (wild salmon, tuna and rainbow trout are all excellent choices) and one vegetarian meal a week are also great options.
2. Snack often
Curb hunger by consuming nutritious snacks throughout the day. Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day will help keep your energy level high and stabilize your appetite.
There are many nutritious snacks that are low in calories but high in fibre to curb your hunger and give you the boost of energy to keep you going. Raspberries, pears, apples, blueberries, grapefruit and strawberries are great fruit choices. When choosing vegetables, choose asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, green peas and sweet potato.
Another excellent way to curb your appetite is water consumption. It is recommended to drink a full glass of water immediately upon waking up and to continually hydrate throughout the day (especially before meals). Staying hydrated can keep your hunger under control as well as keep you refreshed and energized throughout your day.
3. Celebrate differently
Cocktails and beer often become a regular part of summer diets and tend to be a staple at barbecues and summer parties. These drink choices, however, are often high in sugar and calories.
It is recommended that women limit their alcohol intake to seven drinks per week and men to limit their intake to nine drinks per week. Of course, it is always advised to drink in moderation. As a reminder, one alcoholic beverage consists of either 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of spirits or 12 ounces of beer.
Celebrating doesn’t require alcohol consumption. Non-alcoholic beverages are good alternatives to the undesired effects of alcohol.
4. Be accountable
The transition back to a healthier, regular diet can be difficult at first. An excellent way to remain accountable for our food intake is to write down everything we eat. Not only will you remain accountable for your food intake, you will have a visual guide to what changes need to be made in order to push you even further toward your nutritional goals.
What are some other ways to transition your eating habits from summer to fall/winter?