Most people either don’t read food labels or read them but focus on the wrong stuff, like calories and fat content.
Unfortunately, pretty packaging, calorie counting and eating low-fat results in a kitchen full of chemistry concoctions. These so-called “health foods” are void of nutrients that help you feel full, which is one of the reasons you can eat these products all day without feeling satisfied. Although you can lose weight eating "health foods," eventually you’ll gain the weight back and more. It’s definitely not enjoyable, sustainable or recommended. Instead, incorporate the tips below to transform your health now.
1. Read Food Labels
Reading food labels increases your awareness of what you’re eating, benefits health, and decreases dietary toxins. Knowing the difference between a good and a bad label will greatly improve your grocery shopping experience, save time and save money.
Focus on: Ingredients Listed
Focus on: Sugar Content
2. Purge Your Pantry
Now that you’re label savvy, it’s time to purge your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Don’t forget any hiding places, such as your desk, car, purse, sock drawer, etc. If you want to eat healthier, keep the bad stuff out of sight and out of mind. This includes kid’s junk food too. Many parents say they’d have an easy time eating healthy if they weren’t constantly tempted to eat their kid’s food. It’s during their younger, body growing, brain developing years that kids need nutrient dense foods more than ever. Just because kids don’t gain weight or are picky eaters, doesn’t mean they get a free pass to chow down on anything available. Especially if they’re picky eaters, they need to get the junk out now or they’ll have serious health issues to come. Chances are too that your picky eater learned those bad habits from you or your spouse. Start cleaning up your diet and be a good example for the whole family to follow.
3. Stock Your Kitchen
Which are you more likely to grab when you’re “hangry,” an apple or bag of chips? Make it easy to opt for something nutritious by stocking your kitchen with healthier choices so you always have something healthy on hand. With easy and affordable online shopping (Thrive Market and Amazon) there’s no excuse to not stock up. There are plenty of healthier alternatives and endless meal ideas to benefit your body without compromising on flavor.
4. Go Out to Cheat
Plan two cheat meals to indulge per week. Although cheat meals sound counterproductive, they prevent you from feeling deprived and help keep you on track the rest of the week. The best way to indulge without going overboard is to have your cheat meals out. Dining out costs more and increases your awareness for what you’re putting in your body. Both of which can help to keep you in check. If you do decide to “cheat” at home, then toss anything leftover deep into the trash when you’re done. No dumpster diving!
Wellness Coach, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner,