Relaxed woman in the park blowing dandelion

Shape up this Spring

Spring has finally sprung so it’s finally time to pack away your winter clothing and, while your at it, look at losing the few extra kilos you put on during winter.

Of course, this is often easier than said. So, how exactly do you go about getting healthier, particularly in time for summer?

Well, first you must get well-nourished and second, you must get active.

Here are 10 simple steps to help you get there:

  1. Start drinking more water
    Did you know we all need around 35-45ml of fluid (preferably water) per kilogram of our body weight per day to stay well hydrated?  For an average 70kg person, this means they need to consume around 2.5-3L of fluid per day! This may sound like a lot but some of this can come from eating more fruit, salads and vegetables which contain up to 99% water plus also drinking more calorie-free, low caffeine and non-alcoholic beverages.
  2. Move more
    Did you realise that during winter some of us don’t even achieve 3,000 steps per day and the recommendation for good health is around 10,000 steps per day? The easiest way to monitor your activity levels is to get a pedometer, FitBit or use a smart phone app to count your steps which will keep you motivated to stay active and achieve your 10,000 steps per day goal.
  3. Decrease the belly bloat
    Start by increasing your dietary fibre intake to assist with more regular and healthy bowel movements which can also assist with decreasing weight by keeping your fuller for longer.
  4. Nourish your gut flora and fauna
    Include some probiotics into your diet daily by adding yoghurt to your breakfast or as a snack for good gut health.
  5. Superfoods for Superhealth
    Superfoods include many everyday foods such as spinach, kale, sweet potato, tomatoes and berries as well as less well-known foods such as chia seeds, quinoa and amaranth.  Add a superfood from fruit, vegetable or whole-grain sources to every meal for better health.
  6. Increase dietary variety
    The key to a good diet is variety. No foods are good or bad but there are certainly foods which are best consumed either in smaller or larger quantities and at different frequencies throughout the week. Start with increasing the colour in your diet to boost your anti-oxidant intake which may also assist to improve immunity.
  7. Metabolism boosting foods
    It is true that some foods can slightly increase metabolism, therefore add some chilli and other spices to your plate as well as caffeine in moderation for a metabolic boost.
  8. Avoid unnecessary calories
    Rather than deprive yourself of all ‘indulgence’ foods, why not try avoiding unnecessary calories from condiments, dressings and sauces by asking for these to be served on the side when you are eating out. Then you can still have your little ‘indulgences’ occasionally.
  9. Consume protein-rich foods at every meal
    Did you know that protein-rich foods can help to moderate your appetite to avoid overeating? Start by including one protein-rich foods such as lean meat, chicken or fish, eggs, low fat dairy or legumes/beans/pulses to every meal.
  10. Aim to get a minimum of 7-8 hours sleep
    Sleep can also help to regulate appetite because when we are tired we tend to make poor food choices plus we often feel the need to snack due to boredom or  to increase our energy levels.