Spring detox in 10 steps
Ditch the baggy tracksuit-bottoms and surrender that over-sized jumper, spring has sprung and it's time to away the effects of a stodgy winter diet with ten tips from diet and fitness writer Alex Atkinson
If cold temperatures have kept you huddled inside craving comfort food your waistline has probably paid the price. On average most people gain between three to four pounds every winter, which doesn't sound like a lot, but if you do it every year the pounds will soon add up.
Going on a diet suggests something temporary, you tell yourself soon you'll be able to come off it and start to eat 'normally' again. In the long run, it's not going to help. Learn about health and nutrition and change your eating patterns for good and you'll never have to put yourself through a dieting plan again.
The same goes for diet versions of food and drink. Don't bother. All the goodness has been replaced by sweeteners, salt and lots of chemicals. Go for the real, full fat versions, just exercise some portion control and if you find it hard, eat a bit then throw the rest out.
Spring heralds the arrival of some of the tastiest vegetables as well as the best seafood. What better reason to throw out your ready meals and dust off your recipe books? In the vegetable corner there's purple sprouting broccoli, leeks, beetroot, watercress and jersey royal potatoes, all packed full of essential vitamins; from the sea there's mackerel and sardines, perfect for upping your omega 3 quota and crab and scallops great for topping up zinc levels and other minerals.
Embrace the outdoors
Stock up on vitamin D by shunning the gym and going for a run, walk or cycle instead. To sustain good health we need to be active for at least 30 minutes five times a week, according to government guidelines, so take advantage of lunch breaks and extended daylight hours.
The Mediterranean diet of olive oil and tomatoes finally has a worthy competitor in the form of the Nordic diet. In Sweden only 10 per cent of the population is obese compared to 25 per cent in the UK.
Embrace the Nordic diet by eating more brassica vegetables such as kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, lean game such as venison and omega-3 rich fish like trout, herring and salmon.
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