Whether it’s because summer is around the corner or some weight has been gained during the winter months, many individuals seem to be motivated in the Spring to start on a health kick, especially one that will yield rapid results. While extreme or restrictive diets may work for the short-term, they are often unrealistic for many individuals to maintain consistently for the long haul. As such, when summer is in full swing many individuals often revert back to their previous eating and exercise habits.

If you’re looking to reboot your health and body this Spring, I challenge you to try something different – practice moderation in your diet instead of embracing the newest fad diet and re-commit to incorporating healthy lifestyle habits.

A Healthy Lifestyle is a Lifelong Commitment

Moderation in your diet is key because it is sustainable for the long haul. A moderate diet, coupled with exercise, and stress management, is ideal to support your physical and mental well-being.

Eating in Moderation

One of the advantages to eating in moderation is that you can still periodically partake in indulgences. Follow these tips on how to eat in moderation.

  • Eat a colorful meal including greens, a variety of non-starchy vegetables, and fruit.
  • Eat at least four servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit per day.
  • Include different types of protein (i.e., fish, turkey chicken, tofu, small quantities of red meat).
  • Limit heavily processed foods, fast foods, and products made with white flour and sugar.
  • Unless you’re practicing time-restricted eating, eat breakfast. Research shows that people who eat a healthy breakfast have better success at weight management. Learn more about why breakfast is important plus get ideas for healthy breakfast recipes in this blog post.
  • Remember that eating foods the way nature made them, and not the way man has made them, will always be best.
  • Learn portion control and sizes.
    • Half the plate: Non-Starchy Vegetables and Greens: Enjoy 2 or more servings per meal to boost your health and daily fiber. A serving size is 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw vegetables and 2 cups raw greens.
    • The other half of the plate, divided into thirds:
    • Protein: 1 serving of protein per meal. A serving is 4 ounces for women and 6 ounces for men.
    • Healthy Fats: 1 serving of healthy fats per meal. A serving is 1 tablespoon olive oil, 10 nuts, 1 tablespoon seeds or 1/3 avocado.
    • Starches: Enjoy 1-2 servings per day. A serving is 1 slice Ezekiel bread, 1/2 cup whole grains, or a small sweet potato.
  • Also enjoy:
    • Fruit: Include up to 2 servings per day in your meals or daily snack. A serving is 1 cup of berries, ½ cup sliced fruit, or a small piece of fruit.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking 8-10 cups of water per day. Add some flavor to your water by infusing your favorite fruit, herbs, or vegetables. Here are some ideas and easy recipes:

Healthy Lifestyle Habits and Non-Negotiables

A healthy lifestyle plan incorporates exercise, sleep, mindfulness, and other stress management techniques. Each of these categories can be a blog post of their own, so I will just touch on the tip of the iceberg for each and encourage you to keep your eye out for future blog posts about these topics.

Exercise is your best defense against coping with life’s daily stressors. Develop a consistent exercise schedule and put it in your calendar.

Sleep is crucial for maintaining your body’s immunity, metabolism, and productivity. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.

Stress management through mindfulness techniques such as meditation, journaling, breathwork, prayer and religious services, and practicing gratitude can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical health. Read more about stress management and mindfulness techniques here.

Getting Started on Your Spring Reboot Moderation Diet

To get started, choose two to three of the tips on eating in moderation from above and start implementing them into your routine. Once they’ve become habits after a few weeks, choose another to add in and work your way up to all seven of the recommendations. Building upon small goals and sustainable habits over time will set you up for success so that you are able to maintain your new healthy habits throughout the summer months and beyond.

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