Spring is the season of rebirth — for Mother Nature and for you. Let the season kick-start your weight loss and refresh your outlook.
- Get outdoors. In the winter, the sun can set in some parts of the country before 4:30 PM. By the end of April, it’s between 7-8 PM. That’s at least 2.5 hours of extra daylight – before the onslaught of summer’s heat – that can be used for an after-work stroll, gardening, a park outing with the kids, etc.
- Soak up the sun. More daylight hours equals more vitamin D opportunities. When ultraviolet rays from sunlight hit the skin, they trigger the synthesis of vitamin D, a vitamin that is naturally present in only a few foods. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with weak bones, weight gain, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, and other conditions. How much time do you need to spend in the sun (without sunscreen) to get the vitamin D you need? A lot depends on skin tone, time of day, and location. In general, light-complexioned people can get enough vitamin D from 10-15 minutes of midday sun exposure daily. Darker-skinned people may need vitamin D supplementation to get adequate amounts.
- Taste the season. Sure, you can find most any fruit or vegetable in your supermarket any time of year. But if they’re not in season, they likely traveled halfway across the world to end up on your store’s shelves, allowing enough time for nutrients and flavor to degrade. This spring, shop for in-season fruits and vegetables (asparagus, blueberries, green beans, honeydew). They’re brimming with flavor and disease-fighting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and since they’re in abundance, they’re likely less expensive than out-of-season foods.
- Declutter your home. Besides the obvious health benefits of eliminating germs and allergens, the tidiness that spring cleaning brings can help you make healthier food choices. In research involving Dutch students, subjects who completed paperwork in an orderly office were less likely to choose a chocolate bar (and more apt to take an apple) as they exited the study than those who worked in a disorderly room. The bottom line: Tidying up can help you slim down – and maybe even unearth that earring you lost four months ago!
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be an exhaustive examination of the subject matter nor a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your primary care physician or healthcare provider before beginning any diet or exercise program.
Active Medi-Weightloss® patients should consult the experts at their location on whether the foods and recipes mentioned are appropriate for their phase of the program.