One of my favorite weight loss mantras has been, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Whether you are embarking on a weight loss journey or any behavior change for that matter, success is more likely to come your way if you are prepared. I am a big believer in being “proactive” rather than “reactive.” To be successful at losing weight, one of the most important tools to keep in your arsenal is a well-stocked, healthy kitchen. We all have those moments late at night where we are tempted to eat everything in sight just to satisfy our cravings and emotions; (thanks for the support Girl Scout cookies!). By ensuring your kitchen is equipped with healthier alternatives, you will be less likely to give into temptation and consume so many unwanted calories. Your mission this week is simple: Remodel your kitchen for success! With the seasons changing, I would like to introduce “A Whole new Meaning to Spring Cleaning”:
1. Clean out your refrigerator and cabinets. Get rid of the following:
- Simple sugars & high fructose corn syrup (ex: jelly, jam, maple syrup, fruit juices)
- Reason: These are full of empty calories and provide minimal nutritional value.
- Replace with your favorite whole fruits – apples, strawberries, grapes, etc.
- White flours (breads, pasta, rice, cereals)
- o Reason: These refined flours have been stripped of their nutrients and turn rapidly into blood sugar. Drastic spikes in your blood glucose levels make you feel hungrier sooner L.
- o Replace with whole grains high in fiber (feel fuller for longer!)
- Foods high in saturated fats (ex: Animal fats, whole milk, butter, cheese, cream)
- o Reason: These fats increase cholesterol and clog your arteries. Overtime this can lead to atherosclerosis and other heart complications.
- o Replace with lean meats (tenderloins), poultry, fish and monounsaturated fats such as olive, canola or flaxseed oils. Almonds, walnuts and pecans are also great sources of monounsaturated fats.
- Foods with trans fats (ex: “partially hydrogenated oils” commonly found in processed foods such as crackers, cookies, cakes and fried foods)
- o Reason: These fats increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease good cholesterol (HDL). High LDL is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease. Similar to saturated fats, trans fats can lead to atherosclerosis and heart disease.
2. Stock up on “good for your snacks” known to satisfy:
- 100 calorie popcorn packs
- Low-fat, part skim string cheese
- Fat free Greek yogurt
- Heart healthy nuts & seeds (peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds)
- Natural peanut or cashew butter
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Ezekiel bread
- Lean deli meats (chicken breast, turkey, low sodium ham)
- All the water you can drink!
Eliminate some of these foods and watch your weight loss results soar. I have always had struggles with snacking and mindless eating. But, if you are stocked with healthier snack alternatives, mindless eating doesn’t have to be nearly as detrimental to your success. It certainly puts “A Whole new Meaning to Spring Cleaning.”
I also always recommend HealthyWage to anyone who wants to make his or her weight loss journey more effective and fun. HealthyWage provides health incentives for everyone, and makes accountability exciting. Recent studies show that incentives increase your odds of success. So check it out and keep up the good work!