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By: Rosemary Weaver, MPH, RDN, LDNNorthwest Community Healthcare
Did the New Year’s resolution to transform your diet fizzle out before Valentine’s Day?
Not to worry – you can get a head start and “spring clean” your diet before the change of season next month. You’ll benefit from improved energy levels, a probable boost to your immune system, and fewer pounds on the scale if weight loss is your goal.
Follow these five steps to make a “clean sweep” for dietary change. Ready?
1. “Snap” and think. Take multiple photos of the inside of your refrigerator, freezer, pantry shelves and drawers. While looking at your photos, answer the following questions:
2. Purge. Right now, give away or throw away the three “problem” foods/beverages (above) that are inconsistent with a healthy meal plan or that are keeping you from achieving your weight loss goals. Purging three items is a great start. You can eliminate additional items later. Make a pact with others in your household that no one will bring these items into the home for now.
3. Replace problem foods with healthier versions. For example, instead of chips, provide carrot chips or other raw veggies to crunch. Have small bags of low-fat popcorn available for snack times. Switch out high-fat ice cream treats with 100% frozen whole fruit bars, such as Outshine. Keep washed and cut-up fresh fruit in your fridge or stock small packets of dried fruit/unsalted nuts in your pantry. Replace the pop or beer with flavored, sparkling water, infused water or fill and refrigerate a “motivational water bottle” to encourage a daily hydration quota.
A few more things to consider:
4. Select a Weekly Challenge to Amp up Nutrition.
Choose one challenge each week to practice a healthier way of eating. Here are some ideas to get you started:
5. Plan and Prep at home. You can save money and more easily stick to your dietary goals.
However you do it, small changes can lead to big improvements in dietary habits over time.
Take the first step and start snapping some photos today.