We are aware that Lent usually falls in the second week in February, and lasts roughly 40 days. That means our conscious is telling us to give up something we enjoy to fully participate. There are many common things people usually give up for lent, such as candy, television, social media, and alcohol. While the television, and social media can be a nice break I am going to focus on a particular food group this lent season. While these foods are bad for you in general, it may be a good idea to surpass the end of lent and continue to keep them away from your diet for life.
Yes, you guessed my big fat #1. Soda. It hides more sugar, and empty calories than any other food or drink beverage you can easily access. By giving up 40 sodas (or perhaps more if you drink more than 1 a day) you are saving yourself and upwards of 7,000 empty calories, and many cup fulls of straight sugar. Not to mention your bone health and your teeth will become healthier overtime if you simply choose water over soda. Try it out, and start reaping the benefits!
I am keeping this one general, as I am calling out ALL fast food chains alike. By cutting out this cheap and unhealthy habit you will be consuming less starch, sugar, salt, and instead incorporating more nutrient dense food at roughly the same cost if you eat at home. It will take a little planning on your end, but it will save you money in the long haul. Money aside, if you were to eat six fast food meals a week you will save yourself over 1,200 calories a week. Wow! Your waistline will also thank you, as your salt intake will dramatically drop!
Sure, it is nice to have a bowl of ice cream every once and a while, but the key here is to not make it a habit. Not only is ice cream expensive, but it is also very calorie and sugar dense. Just by saying no to that bowl of ice cream every night, you will save yourself roughly 3,000 calories throughout Lent.
I know, this one is tough for some people due to the social aspect Alcohol brings with it, but it will truly help you drop weight! Just by saying no to alcohol you will save yourself over 5,000 empty calories! That is a lot of calories saved, and your body will feel a little cleaner for it too. There is nothing wrong with indulging in a small glass of wine here and there after lent, but being mindful of the effects it has on your body will go far for you long term.
While some of these items are completely do-able, others are unrealistic for some long term. Always be mindful of how often you are indulging in the items above, as well as your portion sizes. Your body will run more smoothly, and your waistline will be a little bit smaller in the long haul! If you are participating in Lent, best of luck and think health!