When Spring is knocking and you’re ready for a body and energy overhaul, it’s nailing your nutrition that will really get you the results you’re after.
Time to toss that stodgy winter menu out the window with these 7 nutrition hacks advocated by Scoopla’s resident trainer Libby Babet and a bunch of super hot, A-List celebs! The best bit? These hacks require no boring calorie counting at all. They’re just little tweaks you can make for a smart springtime nutrition approach that will wield serious results.
Hack #1: Save bread for weekends
Celeb advocate: Jessica Biel
There’s nothing wrong with a delish sourdough but when you’ve been indulging all winter and are craving a spring detox, this rule saves the day and creates change quickly! Less bread equals less starchy carbs, less gluten and filler calories, creating more room for quality proteins and fibre rich vegetables/fruit. But when Sat/Sun brunch arrives... eat the bread! It’s not about cutting out, just cutting back.
Hack #2: Set a 1-2 rule for booze
Celeb advocate: Blake Lively doesn’t drink at all, ever!
There’s something comforting about huddling indoors with a glass or two of red when it’s cold outside, and it’s easy to get into the habit of indulging most nights. But a nightly vino treat is a fast track to putting on weight and draining vital energy, which may be manageable short-term but if you want to reverse the trend, limit yourself to just 1-2 glasses of your favourite drink, no more than 1-2 nights per week. It’s as simple as 1-2!
Hack #3: Lighten up your dinners
Celeb advocate: Rosie Huntington Whiteley
This is seriously the fastest and easiest way to lean out in record time, without even thinking about it. Eat normally all day long, then have either a low sodium veggie soup or juice, a small salad, or a protein shake for dinner (we love Passion Projects for a vegan option, or Promise Nutrition if you’re a whey fan). This gives you the calorie deficit you need, at the right time of day to have maximum effect, without all the calculating and worrying. And it works fast. As a side bonus, you should also find your sleep improves when you’re not heading to bed on a full stomach.
Hack #4: Snack right sisters
Celeb advocate: Halle Berry
We know it’s easy to grab packaged snacks like rice crackers, chocolate bars, salted nuts, protein bars, lollies and crisps, or a second/third latte on the run, or to say yes to a piece of cake or the cookies your colleague brought into the office, but the majority of processed snacks are either carb and sugar rich, chemical rich, salt/iodine rich, or all of the above. Fresh fruit and vegetables, slow carbs like beans/hummus/quinoa/oats and lean proteins are always the best options but if you must go for packaged foods on the run, we’re fans of plain Greek yoghurt pots, wild sardines/salmon, a handful of activated nuts, chia pudding (you can buy chia pods pre-packaged at any supermarket if you’re not a kitchen queen), pre-packed veggie sticks (again, these are in supermarkets now), sliced green apple with a little sliced cheese or nut butter, individual protein or greens sachets shaken with water or coconut water, the life-saving Chief Bar if you’re a meat eater, or a few squares of dark chocolate, especially if it’s the raw and low-sugar kind.
Hack #5: Don’t be afraid not to break your fast straight away
Celeb advocate: Claudia Schiffer
Yes yes we know breakfast is the most important meal of the day BUT if lightening things up at dinner isn’t an option for you (because family, man friend, social life, hello!), then eating breakfast a little later in your day is a strategy worth experimenting with. Choose just a few days per week to leave 13-16 hours between dinner and breakfast (it’s a good idea to start at 12 and work your way up). We suggest using this strategy on non-training mornings only. Herbal teas, lots of water and if you get desperate, the odd black coffee are all cool during your fast time. This gives your body a chance to use the energy excess from dinner, before you load up again.
Hack #6: Keep healthy fats on the menu
Celeb advocate: Kim Kardashian
Cutting out all the fat in your diet is a direct route to sending your appetite hormones haywire. Fat is one of the most satiating macronutrients and also signals to your body that you’re safe and it can release excess stored fat to burn as energy. Yep that’s right, eating fat can actually encourage your body to release stored fat – how smart is that! You do want to get your portions right though, so stick to one generous spoonful when raiding the nut butter jar, about half an avocado, a small handful of nuts, a fillet of oily fish, or a portion roughly the size of your big thumb when it comes to oils and butter. Stick to the kind of fats your body recognises as real food too – that means donuts are not included, sorry!
Hack #7: Choose old-fashioned food and focus on micros over macros to reduce inflammation and boost energy, while cutting cravings
Celeb advocate: Elle Macpherson
Crappy, processed, refined sugar and trans fat rich foods can wreak havoc on your body when consumed in excess, creating inflammation and making it impossible for you to lose fat, or feel energised. Deep fried foods should be off the menu completely when you’re cleaning up your diet for spring and processed/packaged eats become a ‘sometimes food'. Imagine the kind of meals your great grandmother would’ve eaten and try to model her menu. That means choosing your food for its micros (vitamins, nutrients) rather than just for macros (carbs/fats/proteins). Vegetables, fruit, nuts/seeds, quality proteins and slow carbs are all on the "yes please” list, and weird man-made stuff is a "no thanks".