Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight has a lot to do with your environment. For most people, your environment includes home, work, and all points between. Why not give these a much needed makeover with the rest of your spring cleaning? Use this checklist to clean the slate, and your plate, in time for swimsuit season:
Clean out and restock your refrigerator and freezer
First, check for past-due expiration dates to make room for new. Compost, recycle, or reuse what you can and discard the rest. Be sure to clean underneath and behind the unit to make sure the appliance runs as efficiently as possible and keeps your food at the proper temperature (under 40 degrees for the fridge). Finally, fill it with fresh produce, lowfat dairy, and lean protein.
Go on pantry patrol
Consolidate open boxes of pasta, cereal, bars, and more and again check for spoilage and long-gone expiration dates. Reorganize spices, soups, flours, sugars, and other pantry staples to help cut down food preparation time. Grade your pantry for how “natural” it is. Is it chalked full of processed foods, preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors? Then, it’s time for a makeover! Contact your local food bank to learn which perishable items they will accept and donate what you cannot (or won’t) use.
Dust off the gym bag
Pack your bag with all the essentials for Day 1 of your “back on track” plan. For example, arm your bag with water, socks, shoes, undergarments, athletic attire of choice, toiletries, even post-workout snacks like trail mix and Gatorade. For even greater inspiration, treat yourself to a new outfit or new shoes!
Find a group fitness class to try
Be it spinning, zumba, yoga, or otherwise, there is certainly strength in numbers when it comes to exercise. Check out local class times and locations and mark it on the calendar. Better yet, find a friend tag along with and sign-up together.
Rate your plate
Have processed foods taken over again? Perhaps it’s time for a basic cleanse. Read here for more info to help increase fiber, a natural detoxifier, in your diet and other helpful detox tips.
Farmer’s Market, here I come!
Find out when your local market opens for the season and look into when a community-supported agriculture (CSA) near you begins their distribution of produce.
As temps increase, so does your body’s need for water. Make sure you sip on water throughout the day and with meals. Try to choose water over any other beverage, especially those with caffeine like diet soda, coffee, or tea.
Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a best selling author and the creator of "The F-Factor Diet", an innovative nutritional program she has used for over a decade to provide thousands with the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, and improved health and well-being. In January 2011 Tanya launched the F-Factor food line with the largest natural foods company in the US, the Hain Celestial group. She is thrilled to be able to offer the highest fiber products on the market to date. Become a fan of Tanya on Facebook or follow her on Twitter
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.