Spring Clean Your Diet and Exercise Routine

Spring is finally here, which combines National Nutrition Month, National Frozen Foods Month and World Health Day. What does that mean for you? Well, it means you’ll not only be bombarded with healthy eating and exercise advice, but you’ll also see lots of deals and steals on frozen foods in your local grocery stores.  So how do you cut through all the noise and figure out what is actually healthy for you?

The Calorie Control Council has some great tips to help you make a good plan of action this month and beyond.

First, let’s start with nutrition. It’s something that’s very closely tied to our time and budgets, but it doesn’t have to be insanely expensive or time-consuming to get the healthy options you need.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Plan your weekly menu on your days off. You’ll have time to research lower calorie recipes and then do an inventory of your kitchen. Finish by making a list of all the ingredients to buy at the store.
  2. Frozen produce is just as healthy as fresh. Since it’s a sales month, be sure to take advantage by stocking your freezer with plain vegetables and fruits.
  3. Skip the processed stuff when it comes to meat. Raw poultry, beef, seafood, and pork are your healthiest options. You can buy in bulk and freeze for later use.
  4. Desserts and drinks should be as low in calories as possible. Picking options that are either just low in sugar (10g or less) or use low-calorie sweeteners are both perfectly healthy and safe ways to go.
  5. If you have a local wholesale store (Costco, Sam’s, BJ’s) look into getting a membership. You wouldn’t believe how much money you can save on bulk meat, produce, nuts, spices and dairy ingredients.
  6. Eat high protein meals throughout the day, because it keeps you from being “starving” and thus from binge eating. It’s one of the secrets that body builders use to help burn fat and get more protein to build muscle.
  7. Pre-cook meals on your days off. You’ll love being able to whip out food and just heat it up the rest of the week. Saves time and cleaning!

Now, for that whole exercise thing -let’s be honest about that with ourselves. How often are you getting exercise? If your answer is less than two days per week, it’s time to get moving!

Whether you’re doing weight and cardio circuit training at the gym (which can burn some serious calories in a short amount of time), walking at the park or your neighborhood, or even doing cleaning and yard work on the weekends –it’s time to up the ante. Set and stick to some realistic exercise goals.

Here’s a clever tip for anyone with an awful commute from work: Find and join a gym that’s close to your office. In the time it would take you to sit in traffic, you could be blasting out a really good workout that relieves stress and burns calories. Oh and by the time you’re done, traffic will be too. You can just cruise home –thus saving more stress and gas!

Take these tips and see how much you can accomplish for your body this spring and throughout the year. Remember, it’s your body and it’s always worth the extra effort to keep it healthy.

National Nutrition Month® is a federally registered service mark of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

faq2Do you have questions about low-calorie sweeteners? Want to learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle? You asked and we listened. Our resident Registered Dietitians answered the most popular questions about low-calorie sweeteners.

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