With spring break and summer seasons coming around the corner – most of us are looking to slim up and feel super confident in some barely-there bikinis. Here are a few treats to cut out that can help you slim down without restricting your diet!
1. Fruit juices
Many are packed with sugar, sodium and little nutritional benefits. These can pack on the calories to your breakfast, and won’t fill you up or keep you energized throughout the day. Instead, sip on some water with lemons or pop blueberries into your water bottle for a slightly sweet taste.
Even for toast, making pasta or spreading on your bagel – butter is super high in saturated fats with no nutrients. A thin layer can quickly add up, you’d be surprised at how many calories you can cut out without missing out on your breakfast favorite.
3. Refined sugar
In your coffee, package of muffins, or granola bar, refined sugar is a staple to many American diets. After the initial sugar high it can make you lethargic, and always leaves you craving more. While super tricky at first, once you cut refined sugars from your diet you’ll lose your appetite for them. Goodbye Dunkin muffins! Try out agave nectar, stevia or a dash of maple syrup in your oatmeal or coffee instead.
4. Red meat
You don’t need to cut this out completely to feel the health benefits. While super high in protein – most of us can reach adequate protein intake without eating any meatballs or hamburger. Red meat tends to be high in fat and calories. Instead, try chicken, seafood, or lean ground turkey. You can barely even taste the difference!
5. Packaged foods
Okay, fair warning this one is pretty tough. While some packaged foods can be great (think RX bars), most aren’t so simple. Binding agents, preservatives, sodium and high sugar content are in most packaged foods. Aim for whole foods like whole grains, fruit, vegetables and meat.
Maybe obvious for some, but nonetheless difficult to ditch. If you need soda to function, opt for a diet version with zero calories or sparkling water instead.
7. Milk chocolate
News flash: not all chocolate is created equally. A small piece of dark chocolate (more cacao) every day can actually be a boost of antioxidant power and keep a savage sweet tooth at bay! Throw out the super sweet milk chocolate now – it has no nutritional benefits and is high in calories.
8. Whole milk and creamer
High in unnecessary fat and calories! Opt for 2 percent milk, skim, or any plant-based alternative. You’d be surprised at how good almond milk creamers can be! They are the nectar of the vegan gods.
Okay, caveat. Not all cereal. Some whole puffed grain cereals are a great way to incorporate whole healthy grains into your diet. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about Lucky Charms. Check the nutrition label for sugar – any added sugar is a sign that that boxed brand should go.
Don’t cut them out – but do crack down on the amount you use while cooking. While healthy fats in extra virgin olive oil and other plant derived oils is great for your body, a little goes a long way. Measure out how much you’re using while making dishes so you don’t overdo it. For a meal, usually about a teaspoon is a healthy amount for some high quality fats.