I’m a nutritionist and generally a healthy eater, but like most people I sometimes veer off from my good habits. After traveling or an especially busy week or two, I often feel the need to “detox” my diet or be extra diligent until I’m back in a healthy eating routine.
Do I give up sugar or go on a cleanse? No.
Do I start juicing or swear off dairy? No.
Because these extreme changes don’t last. Nor are they healthy for your body.
Instead, I go back to the basics: eating real, simple, wholesome foods. “Clean” eating is delicious, satisfying and doesn’t make me feel deprived of the foods I love. Here are some ways to clean up your diet after a slip-up.
- Cut back on alcohol. I personally feel my best when I enjoy a drink or two on the weekends and none during the week.
- Drink plenty of water. When you’re hydrated, you’re less likely to mistake thirst for hunger. Research has also suggested that drinking a glass of water before a meal may cause you to eat less at the meal.
- Eat veggies & fruits at each meal or snack. I like to have fruit at breakfast and as an afternoon snack, then make both lunch & dinner full of vegetables. Bulking up your meals with fruits & veggies helps keep calories low and satisfaction/health benefit high.
- Limit sugar. The empty calories in sweets add up fast. If you have a big sweet tooth, it can be helpful to cut out sugar for a few days just to “reset” your palate. Or, limit sugar to one item/serving per day – maybe it’s sugar in your coffee, maybe a cookie after dinner – pick whatever you enjoy the most and skip the rest.
- Reduce refined grains. Like alcohol and sugar, refined grain products offer a lot of calories but very few nutrients. They also tend to be served and eaten in large portions, and they don’t make you feel very satisfied. Limiting white bread, pasta, rice etc. to just one small serving per day can be very effective in helping you lose weight and feel your best.
- Focus on what you can eat, not what you can’t. There are so many foods & dishes that are delicious in addition to being healthy. Venture outside of steamed veggies and tasteless salads and get creative! When you look forward to healthy meals instead of dreading them, you won’t think about all the things you’re trying to eat less of.