July – a month to celebrate Canada Day for my fellow Canadians, the fourth of July for my American buddies, and oh right, the heat, which more than likely has you longing to wear shorts instead of your usual long garb. Maybe some of you aren’t so keen on the last point. Especially with all the celebrating of country’s birthdays and whatnot – the party food, the alcohol… it all adds up.
So here’s a few nutritional changes to make right now in order to get yourself back on the healthy bandwagon, and ready to face your summer clothing in no time.
- Get prepared
With all the other planning your life requires, sometimes food is the last thing on your mind. But make is a priority. Plan your meals in advance and keep your nutrition ‘top of mind awareness’ instead of just an afterthought. This way, you won’t find yourself eating junk just because you’re hungry.
- Shop on the perimeter of grocery stores
Avoid processed foods as much as possible. A rule of thumb to remember is the closer to nature, the better. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the label, it’s likely that it’s best to avoid that food.
- Eat out less
Ever wonder how restaurants make their food so delicious? Unfortunately, it’s often because their food is smothered in butter, oil, sauces, and other not-so-healthy ingredients. If you want to know exactly what’s going into your food, it’s a better bet to make your meals yourself.
- Drink red wine
Yes, you did read that correctly. Woot woot! When consumed IN MODERATION, red wine has great health benefits. Try choosing a European wine, as these contain less sugars and pesticides.
- Get your vitamin D
Most people in northern climates are vitamin D deficient. In fact, it is so prevalent that health professionals don’t even test for it. If you’re one of those people deprived of the sun for long periods of a time, try supplementing vitamin D into your diet. Not only will it help you achieve your weight loss goals, it’ll also help prevent disease.
- Eat more fish
Cold water fish are swimming with omega 3’s. Try introducing unfarmed sole, halibut, and salmon into your diet.
- Eat more dark chocolate
This pointer is almost as awesome as the one about red wine. It turns out that dark chocolate is one of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet. Try eating 1oz a day of dark chocolate containing 85% cocoa or higher. Not only will your taste buds thank you, but so will your immune system.
- Eat coconut
It’s tasty, very portable, and it’s full of fiber. Coconut water is also a great electrolyte replacement (but be aware of liquid calories).
- Increase fiber intake
I would recommend trying to consume about 30g/day. Consuming more fiber will make you feel fuller for longer, keep your bowels regular, and keep your blood sugar stable. Some great sources of fiber include kiwi, veggies, flax seed, and chia seed to name a few.
- Eat more probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria that boost your immune system, reduce inflammation, and help with lactose intolerance. They can be found in yogurt and miso soup, or can be easily supplemented into your diet.
- Be more aware of sugar intake
Not only does sugar consumption cause weight gain, it also compromises your immune system. Try consuming foods containing less than 2tsp (10g) of sugar per serving.
- Be a veggie-monster
Need I explain why veggies are good for your health? Try to increase your veggie consumption to 4cups/day.
- Make breakfast a priority
Make it a priority to eat within the first 20 minutes of waking up to get your metabolism going. Also, shake up your breakfast, add new variety, and try something different. For example, Greek yogurt, shakes, and oatmeal are all great choices.
There you have it folks, 13 great tips to help you meet your fitness and fat loss goals this summer.
If you like these tips I’ve got a nutrition plan that goes along with my program HERE, check it out to see if it’s right for you.