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If you’re looking to eat a little bit healthier this spring there are countless changes you can make to your diet. The best part: Making just one or two is going to have an immediate impact on your health, not to mention your energy levels, sleep quality and waistline. Here we’ve provided 10 ideas that can set you on the path to a cleaner diet filled with the nutrients you need to thrive. 

  1. Drink More Water. You’ve probably heard this one a thousand times, but it’s true: Most folks don’t drink enough water. Not only that, but it’s not uncommon for hunger pangs to strike that are actually just your body looking for something to drink. Instead of counting your daily glasses of water (although that is an effective strategy), try having a glass when you feel hungry for a snack, then waiting 15 minutes or so. Chances are your cravings will subside.
  1. Eat More Vegetables. While macronutrients like protein, fats and carbohydrates are important, the body also needs micronutrients to function optimally—many of which are found in vegetables. Spring is the perfect time to seek out some new veggies since so many are in season, meaning you’ll be able to find them fresh at farmer’s markets and grocery stores.
  1. Choose Whole Grain. Let’s face it: Carbs are comfort food and there are very few people who want to cut them out completely. But if you choose the correct ones, you don’t have to! Instead of white bread and white pasta, opt for whole grain and whole wheat, which have more filling fiber. And instead of white rice, choose brown rice or ancient grains like quinoa or farro.
  1. Snack on Fruit. Craving something crunchy? Grab an apple or some grapes. Something savory? Try an avocado or some cherry tomatoes. Something sweet? Munch on berries. No matter what you’re craving, there’s a fruit out there that will satisfy it, all while delivering beneficial micronutrients. 
  1. Keep Drinks Calorie-Free. One incredibly simple way to lower your overall calorie and sugar intake is to only choose drinks that are calorie-free. That means skipping juices, soft drinks and add-ins for your coffee and tea in favor of water (plain, sparkling, or naturally flavored), black coffee and brewed teas. While diet soda doesn’t have any calories, it typically contains artificial sweeteners that have the same effects on the body as sugar, so it’s best to steer clear of those as well. 
  1. Add in Fish. Fish like salmon, tuna, shrimp, scallops, cod, haddock and more are a fantastic source of lean protein. What’s more, they deliver omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to be incredibly beneficial for brain and heart health. If you can’t get fresh fish, don’t sweat it: Fish that was frozen right away and has remained frozen since is just as good for you.
  2. Bring on the Beans. If you struggle with constant hunger or find yourself starving as mealtime approaches, eating more beans may be the ticket. Beans and lentils are packed with protein and fiber to boost satiety and contain virtually no sugar, meaning your blood sugar will stay steady for sustained energy.
  1. Choose Full Fat. The days of vilifying fat are over, as study after study has revealed that eating fat can help you burn fat by supplying a long-lasting source of energy to cells. In fact, full-fat dairy (like milk, cream, yogurt and cheeses) contains conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fatty acid that’s been proven to reduce body fat. 
  1. Avoid Packaged Foods. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to fill your kitchen with foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. This will ensure you’re getting the most nutritional bang for your buck and the smallest amount of man-made additives and preservatives that can make it difficult for your body to stay healthy. 
  1. Shorten Your Eating Window. Are you hesitant to make substantial changes to your diet? Or do you feel like you eat pretty healthy already but you’re not seeing that reflected in the mirror or on the scale? If so, you could try limiting the number of hours in the day in which you eat. A technique called time-restricted eating (a form of intermittent fasting), this extends the number of hours during which you’re not consuming food, giving your body a chance to stop focusing on digestion and instead spend time on the other processes that make you healthy. You can start by limiting your eating window to 12 hours (such as 8am to 8pm), then gradually make it shorter.  

Need some help staying accountable when trying to improve your diet? Show us how you’re staying healthy this spring by tagging us on Instagram or Facebook @powerforlifefitness.

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