Your kitchen is the key to your weight loss success. By simply stocking it with the ingredients for healthy meals and snacks, you won’t be able to make a bad decision, even when those late night munchies hit.
So, what do you keep and what do you toss? Here’s your guide to cleaning out your kitchen and setting yourself up for success:
Grab a garbage bag and toss:
- Drinks with high-fructose corn syrup or sugars, like juices from concentrate.
- High-fat dairy products like cream cheese, heavy cream, full fat milk, cheeses, creamy salad dressings and full-fat yogurts.
- Fatty meats like ground beef, salami, and pepperoni.
- Ice cream, cookies, candy, chocolate, and any other processed sweets.
- White and bleached carbohydrates, like white rice, pasta, bread, crackers, cereals, etc.
- Frozen meals. Even the diet ones are often full of sodium, preservatives and chemicals which wreak havoc on your body. Canned soups are also sodium bombs.
Now, replace the no-no’s with:
- Water. Most people are partially dehydrated. If weight loss is your goal, being dehydrated will slow you down.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables. Any fruits and veggies will do, but the more colorful, the better. Keep them in your freezer, your fridge and pre-cut and ready to eat on your counter.
- Lean meats. Skinless chicken breast, canned tuna, ground turkey, and white fish will give you all the protein you need without all the saturated fat.
- Plain low-fat yogurt, fat-free milk, Greek yogurt, and low-fat cottage cheese contain less fat and sugar than their full-fat counterparts.
- Whole grain carbs. There are whole grain versions of almost every starchy carb, so fill up on whole wheat versions of pasta, bread, English muffins, crackers, buns, etc.
- Oatmeal. Oatmeal is the best breakfast: it’s easy, whole grain and filling. Be careful with the flavored versions, though, which are full of sugars.
- Nuts. Nuts are great sprinkled on almost anything, or eaten all on their own. Go for dry roasted with no salt.
A healthy kitchen takes maintenance. Go through your kitchen every few months and make sure you are still on track. It’s easy for unhealthy treats to slip in unnoticed. If you have kids or a significant other who doesn’t agree with a no-temptation kitchen, give them their own shelf that is off limits to you. Or, better yet, talk with your family about your healthy changes and get them on board. Why wouldn’t you want your loved ones to make healthy changes with you?
If the temptation is there, you will eat it. Of course, moderation is the key, but the best way to ensure you consume not-so-healthy foods sparingly is to not keep them in your house. Your kitchen should be your weight loss effort’s best friend, not its taunting, tempting enemy.
August 25th, 2010