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Healthy Spring Diet Tips

March 2012

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, John Bateman

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Brrrr... what a winter it was! And as many of us know, the darker and colder days of the season can lead to poor food choices and less exercise. With astronomical spring now here, it may be time to do some spring cleaning on your winter diet.

Diet: A lot of people tend to cling to "comfort foods" during the winter months, compounded with the tendency to over-eat during the holidays. With Christmas, New Year`s, and Valentine`s Day now behind us, here are some tips to jump start your new eating habits:

  • Stay hydrated. Probably the most important diet and fitness tip! The warmer months lead to more physical activity and faster dehydration. People often mistake thirst for hunger, and will eat rather than replenish with zero-calorie water. A rule of thumb: If you`re thirsty, you`re already dehydrated.

  • Smaller portions. Winter can be the time to indulge due to the holidays and family gatherings. Use the spring months to get back into a more normal eating routine. Don`t deprive yourself of the food you like, because that can lead to "rebound eating" and diet discouragement. If the cuisine you enjoy is not necessarily the healthiest, simply start eating smaller amounts of it and keep from eating it as often. And speaking of eating:
  • Make better food choices when you can. Try low-fat versions or low-sodium/sugar-free versions of the food you like. Select leaner meats and fish. Try to incorporate more whole grains and fresh vegetables into your diet, both which become more readily available in the warmer months. It can as simple as substituting multigrain bread, brown rice, or whole-wheat pasta for the "white" varieties.
  • Making smart food choices can be hard sometimes, so don`t let that discourage you. More than anything, try to enjoy the warmth and fresh air the season has to offer. Just getting outside and getting moving can make a world of difference in your health.

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    Story image: Joggers along the Lakefront, Mandeville, La. Courtesy of Infrogmation of New Orleans

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