Healthy habits start in the kitchen, and reaching your goal weight is as much about the calories your put into your body as it is about the calories you burn. Don’t treat food as your enemy on your weight loss journey though – treat it as the nourishment your body needs and find the right foods to reach your goal weight. If you’re having trouble keeping things safe and health friendly in the kitchen zone, try these 8 things to keep you on track and set you on your way to reaching your weight loss goals:
If you shouldn’t than don’t – There are certain foods you know you shouldn’t eat. Whether it’s chips, chocolate, that tub of ice cream, or your favourite bag of candy, you know the things that are your trap and that make you cave every time. Despite how much willpower you want to will yourself to have, when the moment is right (or wrong), and they are in the house, you are going to have at it. So don’t even give yourself the opportunity: don’t buy the things you know you shouldn’t have and leave them in the house. On the days when you are going to treat yourself, buy them specifically for that day, in a small portion and don’t allow any leftovers. If they are there, you’ll eat them. It happens to the best of us!
Out of sight, out of mind – Sometimes, despite our best efforts, there’s food in the house we know we shouldn’t eat every day. Do yourself a favour, and hide it at the back of the cupboard, or at the back of the fridge. This way, it won’t be the first thing you see as soon as you open the door and your mind won’t be overwhelmed by your desire to eat it. Instead you’ll be more likely to reach for the fresh fruit or pre cut veggies you prepared earlier (see 3 and 4 below).
Have lots of fresh fruit – Buy lots of fresh fruit, and leave some on your counter, some in the fridge and chop some up to put in the freezer. When you crave something sweet, grab a piece of fruit. When you crave the cold, creaminess of ice cream, suck on some frozen fruit, or better yet, whiz some frozen banana in the blender to make banana softserve. If the fruit is visible and accessible you will be more likely to think of it as an option than if there’s none there and the chips are just on the other side of the cupboard door.
Pre cut Veggies – Not only great for snacking and satisfying your desire for something crunchy, pre cutting your veggies will also make you more likely to make a healthy dinner, because the hard preparation part is already done. Set aside some time each week to cut up veggies that you can eat raw and cook, and store them in your fridge. Use this time to do other meal prep as well and healthy meals all week long will be a breeze. And great for your weight goals!
Stock up on High Protein Snacks – Snacks that are high in protein help us to feel fuller and more satisfied for longer, cutting back on the number of mindless calories we may consume without even realizing. It is good to have snacks to prevent a drop in blood sugar and overeating later, but some snacks are better than others. When you find yourself hungry in the middle of the afternoon, reach for a handful of almonds, some apple with almond butter or some roasted chickpeas. These foods will stop the hunger and prevent you from eating too much later all in one go!
Don’t make the kitchen your hub – Have you ever noticed, that sometimes just being in the kitchen makes you want to eat, even if you aren’t hungry? The brain associates the kitchen with food, just like it associates your bedroom with sleep. Being in the kitchen when it is not time to eat is just playing havoc on your mind and setting you up to cave in and eat just to ease your crazy head. Don’t set yourself up for temptation and stay out of the kitchen unless it is eating time. Instead, find another room in the house where you can hang out and spend your time and only head to the kitchen when it’s food time!
Use Visual Cues – Headed for a certain goal weight, or want to fit in a specific dress? Put a picture on the fridge or in the cupboard where you always seem to end up, reminding yourself when you open the door. Take it one step further and leave motivational quotes in your drawers, on your fridge and on your mirror to remind yourself of how good you are doing so far and that you don’t want to mess it up. And ask yourself: Is this 5 minutes of satisfaction from the chocolate bar worth it after all the effort I have put in and how far I have come?
Eliminate Bad Bevies – Whether it’s soda, alcohol, or sweetened fruit juice, many beverages are empty calories that cause a spike in your blood sugar, a drastic increase in your caloric intake and no nutritional benefits. Remove these from your house! Don’t even set up the temptation. Instead, aim to drink 8-10 large glasses of water a day to keep you hydrated and to make you feel full and not just always wanting to eat. Supplement this with teas, like the Skinny Detox range, kombucha, and fresh, homemade vegetable juices. All of these beverages provide value to your health without adding heaps of extra calories and ensure that you aren’t mistaking thirst as hunger! And you can have your daily cup of Joe too!