You’ve probably heard this saying before, and I’m going to say it again: “you can’t out- exercise an unhealthy diet” or “abs are made in the kitchen.” But that doesn’t make it any easier, does it? With all the nutrition information that we are bombarded with each day via magazines, social media, friends, family–maybe even your hairdresser, you may feel even more overwhelmed than ever about what to eat to achieve your health goals. Well let me encourage you by declaring that you don’t have to ‘diet’. I have many clients who have achieved success that I have encouraged not to diet, but rather to adopt healthy and sustainable nutrition habits. No matter what changes you need to make to your diet, your biggest friend or foe will be your kitchen.
After you have decided on the nutrition changes and healthy habits you will embrace, open up that refrigerator and those kitchen cabinets and build a healthy and supportive atmosphere, clear of temptations and reminders of the your old ways
Identify your trigger foods. I refer to foods that you can’t control yourself around as ‘trigger foods’. For many people these are chips, crackers, cookies, ice cream, cheese, etc. If you have foods in your house that are constantly calling your name to finish off the bag, or binge on them in front of the TV, toss them. Don’t tempt yourself, and don’t decide you will finish them first! Give them away if you must.
Check expiration dates. If food can sit on the shelf for longer than a month or two, toss it. Unless it is spices, dry grains, beans, nuts, seeds or dry lentils, it most likely contains high sugar, salt, preservatives and/or trans fat. These additives are damaging to our bodies on a cellular level and will hold you back from your goals.
Make a plan. Decide on the fresh and healthy meals and snacks that you will make. List the ingredients necessary.
Restock. Create a healthy and inviting kitchen without temptation by stocking up on healthy vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grains and healthy fats.
Food prep. Make healthy food more accessible by creating time to prepare it. For example, if you are planning to have vegetables and hummus available for a snack, cut the vegetables and make them ready to grab and eat. If you are adding chicken to your salads, make extra the night before to last you the next two days.
With a kitchen full of healthy opportunities, rather than temptations, you have set yourself up for success. Are you ready to get started now? Ready, set, go!