As the seasons change and warmer weather approaches, many are eager to revamp their diet and lifestyle for a healthier and more vibrant summer ahead.

As a specialist dietitian and founder of an award-winning nutrition company based in Belfast, I have helped thousands of people over the past 30 years achieve positive changes in their diet and health. I am a passionate believer in enjoying foods without counting macros or spending hours in the gym. Eating to optimise your diet and health is not just for summer but for life.

The following nine diet changes will help you spring into summer feeling your best.

​1. Stay properly hydrated

Maintaining adequate hydration levels is absolutely crucial for supporting overall health and wellbeing, particularly during warmer months when fluid losses can be more pronounced.

It is highly recommended to make a concerted effort to consume at least six to eight glasses of refreshing water on a daily basis. Doing so will not only help you remain properly hydrated, but will also work to facilitate healthy digestive processes and ensure your body can function at its absolute best.

Staying hydrated is key

​2. Incorporating more fibre-rich foods into your diet is a simple yet highly beneficial strategy for enhancing your overall health and wellbeing

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are all excellent sources of dietary fibre, which play a crucial role in supporting optimal gut health. Not only do these nutrient-dense foods aid in promoting a healthy digestive system, but they also instil a satisfying feeling of fullness, helping you to better manage your appetite and potentially support weight-management efforts.

By consciously increasing your intake of these naturally fibre-rich items, you can make a positive impact on your body’s functioning while also enjoying the delicious flavours and textures they offer. It’s a win-win situation that allows you to nourish your body with wholesome, fibre-packed ingredients.

3. Limiting your intake of processed foods is an excellent way to prioritise your overall health and wellbeing

Highly processed snacks, meals, and convenience items frequently contain concerning amounts of unhealthy fats, refined sugars and artificial additives that provide little to no nutritional value.

Instead, focusing your diet on whole, natural foods — such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains — allows you to enjoy more nourishing, minimally altered ingredients that can have a profoundly positive impact on your bodily functions and feel-good vitality.

By making this simple yet impactful dietary shift, you’re empowering yourself to make more mindful, health-conscious choices that support your short- and long-term wellness objectives.

​4. Prioritise lean proteins

When planning your meals, be sure to focus on incorporating lean protein sources, such as chicken, fish, tofu and legumes.

These nutrient-dense options not only support the health and maintenance of your muscle tissues, but they also help sustain your energy levels throughout the day.

By making lean proteins a priority, you can fuel your body with the essential building blocks it needs to function at its best.

​5. Mindful eating is a rewarding approach to nourishment

The practice of mindful eating is a truly rewarding way to approach the act of nourishing oneself. By savouring each bite, eating at a leisurely pace and paying close attention to hunger and fullness signals, individuals can unlock a more fulfilling and beneficial dining experience.

This mindful approach not only helps prevent the common pitfall of overeating, but can also work to improve overall digestion.

When one slows, the senses become heightened, allowing the flavours, textures and aromas to be fully appreciated. This deliberate connection with the food enhances the enjoyment and satisfaction derived from the meal.

Furthermore, by tuning in to the body’s natural hunger and satiety cues, mindful eaters are empowered to consume only as much as their system requires, avoiding the discomfort and potential health consequences of overconsumption.

Embracing this mindful philosophy towards eating is a simple yet profound way to cultivate a healthier, more nourishing relationship with food.

The rewards of this practice extend beyond the meal itself, as improved digestion can contribute to increased energy, better nutrient absorption and an overall enhanced sense of wellbeing.

​6. Include healthy fats

When planning your meals and snacks, be sure to incorporate nourishing sources of healthy fats into your diet.

Foods such as creamy avocado, crunchy nuts and seeds and extra virgin olive oil are all excellent choices.

Not only do these monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats support cardiovascular wellbeing, but they also aid the body in effectively absorbing a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.

Embracing these wholesome fatty components can truly elevate the nutritional quality and synergistic benefits of your overall eating pattern.

​7. Broaden culinary tastes for a well-rounded nutrient intake

Exploring a diverse array of foods and flavours is an excellent way to ensure you’re obtaining a comprehensive range of essential nutrients.

By experimenting with different fruits, vegetables, grains and spices you can not only keep your meals interesting and enjoyable, but also provide your body with the varied nourishment it needs to thrive.

Trying new ingredients and recipes expands your culinary repertoire, awakens your taste buds and encourages you to step outside your comfort zone, ultimately leading to a more wholesome and satisfying dining experience.

Embracing this approach to eating can be a delightful and rewarding journey of discovery, allowing you to enjoy the bounty of flavours and textures that the world of food has to offer.

​8. Reduce added sugars

It’s wise to cut down on sugary drinks, desserts and high-sugar snacks, as they can promote unwanted weight gain and inflammation.

Instead, try to satisfy your sweet tooth with naturally sweetened choices, such as fresh, juicy fruits.

This healthier approach will allow you to enjoy the delightful flavours you crave without the drawbacks of excessive added sugars.

9. Seek professional guidance

It is highly recommended to consult with a registered dietitian when seeking personalised nutrition advice. These trained professionals can offer tailored guidance that is specifically catered to your individual needs, circumstances and health goals.

By tapping into their expertise, you can make informed decisions and develop an effective plan to achieve your desired outcomes, whether that involves managing a medical condition, optimising athletic performance or simply improving your overall wellbeing through balanced nutrition.

Professional input can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of diet and lifestyle, ensuring you receive recommendations grounded in evidence-based practices and your unique requirements.

By implementing these nine top diet changes you can spring into summer feeling healthier, happier and more confident than ever before. Remember: small changes can lead to big results when it comes to improving your diet and overall wellbeing. If you need assistance, we would love to help you. Please do reach out to the team via the email address [email protected].

Gillian Killiner of 121 Dietitian

​Read more about Gillian Killiner BSc (Hons) MSc RD, founder of 121 Dietitian, an award-winning diet and health coaching company in Belfast and beyond. Visit