5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Health Habits

Dr. Joey Shulman shares five ways to improve your diet, your weight and your energy.

Ahh…..spring has sprung and we are all thrilled to finally be outside and feel the sun on our face. While we start to clean out our garages and closets this time of year, spring is also the perfect season to take steps to improve our diet, our weight and our energy.

In order to feel your best this spring, I highly recommend the simple health steps below. By following these easy steps, you will look and feel your very best for spring and summer all the while creating long lasting health benefits.

Dr. Joey’s 5 steps to spring-clean your diet

Step 1 – Take note of what you are eating daily. Make a mental note of when you fall of the health wagon and why (i.e. time of day and emotions around it). Is it due to mindless eating or are you stressed? Is before or after dinner a harder time for you to keep on track? If you are like a majority of my clients- you start the day off well but don’t finish it well. Simply paying attention to your habits can facilitate very positive change. 

If you would like to go one step further, commit to writing down your food intake for a full 14 days – you may be surprised what you find out!  In fact, research shows that those who keep a food journal are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off. To download your own personal food journal, click here!

Step 2 – Watch the clock!  While we used to think weight loss was all a mathematical game (calories in vs. calories out) –research now shows that timing, type and combination of foods can have an impact on your blood sugar and your weight loss success. In short, front load your day as much as you can and eat earlier in the day. For optimal health, more energy and weight loss I always tell my clients, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch (and snack) like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”

Step 3 – De-clutter your fridge and cupboards. We clean our desks, our garages and our closets to look their best –why not our kitchen cupboards and fridge? I highly recommend taking all packaged and fresh foods out and giving your cupboards and fridge a good wipe down. A proper and complete clean out may take you a few hours – but I assure you –it’s worth it.  It is always nice to open your fridge, freezer and cabinetry and to be able to see exactly what you have. By doing so you will eat healthier and be more organized.  You may even be motivated to create a family meal planner for the week!

Step 4 – Break up with refined flours and sugars. Of all the health zappers that are our there, hands down– refined flour and sugar top the charts. Refined flour and sugars are found in various baked goods, soda, candy, breads, pastas, ketchup – you name it. Without a doubt, the onslaught of sugar has done a real number on the health and wellness of North Americans. Processed flours and sugars promote energy fluctuations, weight gain and belly fat storage and can lead to more serious diseases such as Type II diabetes. An excess of refined flour and sugar also creates a craving for more –leading to a dependency and a vicious cycle.

In my clinical practice –in order to break up with sugar I recommend going cold turkey. That may sound hard to do, but if you replace it with whole grains and naturally sweet food (berries, herbal teas, cinnamon, vanilla etc.), you will get over your “sugar love” within a few short days. Coconut sugar is also a good low glycemic sugar that can be used sparingly.

Step 5 – Eat fresh and live. This may not be something new to you at all, but fresh fruits and vegetables will impact your health in such a dramatically positive way –they are a daily must. So…. how much should you eat? The truth is the more the merrier. As a bare minimum – you should try to eat something “alive” each and every meal or snack.  The more color (especially green!) you can get into your diet –the better for overall health.

Courtesy of www.drjoey.com