Today we’re talking about 6 things you can do in your pantry, kitchen, home and or office to help you reach your goals. Now, if I ask 100 people I may get 100 different answers as to what your goals are, so let’s talk about nutrition only.
Let me repeat that there are no bad foods, there is nothing that is forbidden. That being said, you don’t need to be a nutritionist to understand that a bag a chips and an apple do not carry the same nutritional value. I firmly believe that your life should include anything you love to eat, it’s the how much that is the issue for most of us. These upgrades are focused on removing excess temptation so that every time you eat the treats that you love, you are eating them by choice, not out of boredom or them simply being there.
- Wash and chop veggies and fruit in advance. The odds of you eating something when you’re hungry or rushed increase greatly with how easy they are to access. If you have to chop all your veggies before every meal you will most likely not eat them as much as you will if they are washed and chopped in the fridge, ready to eat. It takes you less time to chop an entire head of broccoli once every few days than it takes to chop only the amount of broccoli you want at every meal. The same goes for fruit. If you buy berries, for instance, wash them all and put them in an appropriate container. When you’re hungry or just really really want a snack, the berries are just as easy to grab as the chips. If you have to wash them…. Well… you just might skip them.
- Don’t keep what you don’t want to eat all the time. Again, there are no forbidden foods, but do you really need to have all those cookies in your pantry? All that ice cream in your freezer? All that chocolate in your pantry? All that soda in your fridge? These are random examples, but the fact is that we will eat what we have at hand. If you shop according to your goals, according to what you want to eat on a regular basis, that is what you will eat. The treats can occupy their rightful place in your diet: as treats, not as the easiest thing to eat whenever you feel like it. Let’s be honest… the reason why you want to get the pack of cookies instead of the apple is because the cookies are engineered to be appealing and make you instantly happy. If you don’t have the cookies at home… you’ll eat something else.
- Disassociate food from screens. Being present while you eat, actually savoring your food and paying attention to it leads you to eat less, and enjoy your food more. Watching something or working while eating turns eating into a mindless action, and people consistently overeat when pairing meal time with a screen.
- Ditch the bowl of candy by the door. This is especially true around Halloween and Christmas, but I can’t even tell you how many people have a bowl of candy or treats by the door. Let me be honest and to the point: you don’t need that. When you get home from an errand and you’re hungry, no matter what food is in your kitchen, you’ll eat candy first. When you’re walking by the door, you’ll mindlessly grab a candy and eat it. So you say: “it’s for my guests”. Ok… that’s very sweet of you. How about WHEN you have guests (I’m guessing you don’t have guests come into your house every day at all hours), you set out a small snack or treat, instead of constantly having that bowl there. And this goes for a bowl of crackers or cookies set out in the kitchen as well. You’re better off having a bowl of washed, easy access fruit.
- Pack your own lunch/snacks. Bonus points if you make your own food. Even if you eat the same thing you would eat from a restaurant, but make it yourself, you are going to eat food that is most likely lower in calories.
- Don’t have a snack or treat drawer. You don’t need an “emergency” stash of chocolates, candies or chips at the office. Be honest… have you ever only eaten those in an “emergency”?
There you go. 6 small tweaks that can have a massive impact in your day to day eating habits. Let me know, what will you start to change today?