Earlier this week, STYR Lab’s registered dietitian coaches outlined the first 12 recommendations to help you ditch processed food and clean up your diet.

As we head into the holiday weekend, here are the next 12 tips to help keep you focused and feeling great as you fire up the barbeque and relax poolside . Use this in conjunction with the first 12 tips posted Monday, and you’ll be feeling refreshed, energized and motivated as you head into summer.

Here we go, see if you can put these to work:

1. Can you recognize the ingredients? If it is something in a package, check to make sure it is as clean as possible. For example, a Larabar is a great option for a snack with ingredients consisting of whole foods – almonds, dates, and cherries.

2. Check out menus online before picking a dinner spot – find a few favorite places with some good, healthy options. Deciding on some go-to spots before the hunger hits will help with decision making at meal time. You can use the STYR Labs App voice activated food logging to see if the menu item is one of thousands we have nutrient data on!

3. Offer to bring something to an event. Going to a potluck? Watching some hoops? Bring something everyone will like that is also unprocessed! This can be as easy as homemade guacamole, some homemade hummus or as fancy as marinated kabobs ready to grill. Check out some recipes in the “diet” tab of the STYR Labs app!

4. Ditch the fancy pre/post workout supplements that make too many promises – create your own pre and/or post workout nutrition using whole foods. Where does whey protein actually come from? Milk. What other high-quality protein foods can be used post-workout? Eggs. Greek yogurt. Pair protein with good quality carbohydrate post-workout. Some examples include yogurt with berries, low-fat chocolate milk, or one scoop of 100 percent whey protein mixed with water or milk and a banana.

5. Cut out refined & hydrogenated oils – look at the ingredient list! Go for olive oil to sauté veggies and use coconut oil sparingly for baking.

6. Add a backup plan – in the form of frozen foods! In case the new recipe turns into a disaster or you have a busy day at work only to come home starving. Frozen vegetables, fish, shrimp or chicken can easily be turned into a stir fry for a quick dinner.

7. Get some accountability and motivation! Talk to family members, friends, your workout buddy or someone at work that also wants to make the change. Commit to small changes each week, and use the “HDI Engine” in the STYR Labs app to get awesome advice from coaches like me!

8. Start following people who encourage you on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Not only will this keep you motivated, but it will also give you new recipe ideas, snack ideas and a place to keep all of your new ideas.

9. Need a detailed plan? Dietitians are very good at personalized, specific meal plans. If you are a type-A personality, training for something very specific or just in need of a complete lifestyle overhaul fast – look for a dietitian to create you a meal plan, or find them in the STYR Labs app.

10. Feed the sweet tooth! Most people are either inclined to eat sweet or salty foods when they get cravings. One of the best sweet foods you can turn to is dark chocolate. With only a couple of ingredients and high antioxidant levels, using this food in moderation can really do the trick. Look for 70 percent cocoa or higher. Avoid turning to the low-fat, sugar-free processed dessert foods. Usually, the low-fat foods contain added sugars while the sugar-free contain added fats.

11. Plan for a cheat meal. As you continue on the road to eating unprocessed foods, cheat days will become less attractive. However, at the beginning, this can be very helpful for people looking to begin change. For example, Saturday night is your cheat meal, so any time you have a craving before then, just remember: “I can have that on Saturday.” It alleviates cravings, immediately changes mental thoughts and can put you back on track. It’s important to remember this is just one day or meal. However, your Saturday night cheat meal should not be continued into a Sunday brunch cheat meal.

12. Start simple. Find a couple of staple recipes that you really like and can use on the days you don’t want to spend time finding something new.

Don’t forget to log your food and water consumption into the STYR Labs app, or wherever you are keeping track of your meals. Take it at your own pace and feel the difference!

STYR Labs App: Increase your Weight Management IQ with a free PHYSQ smart scale by upgrading to STYR Plus!

If you are interested to hear more and receive personalized nutrition, check out STYR’s app, fitness tracker and suite of connected smart devices. Through the platform, you can track and log activity, food, hydration, sleep, nutrition, mood and more to personalize your nutrition needs based on data, science and access to registered dietitians, nutritionists and personal trainers.

Please note that this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We insist that you always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical/health condition or treatment and before initiating a new health care regime. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the STYR app or on www.MyNutritioniQ.com.

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