Shop for Success: Pack your Pantry and Fridge with Healthy Options
If you're trying to lose weight, you probably know diet and exercise are key to
success. If you're exercising consistently and truly challenging yourself at the gym, but you're still not losing weight or you're exercising and continuing to gain weight, it's time to rethink what you eat. Here's the bottom line: If you don't buy it, you won't eat it. Shop for success to achieve success on the scale.
Snacking Doesn't Need to Sabotage Weight Loss
Mindless snacking on calorie-laden foods is a big reason many people struggle with their weight. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tracked peoples' eating habits for 30 years and concluded desserts, sweet drinks, salty snacks, and candy account for most calories consumed from snacks, and contribute to obesity. If your kitchen is full of those foods, it's time for a makeover.
It's unrealistic to ban snacking between meals. Snacking on healthy options can actually bolster weight loss by keeping hunger at bay and preventing the urge to binge. Put these convenient and healthy snack options on your shopping list:
- Heat-and-eat edamame - Lightly salted, they're delicious and nutritious.
- Almonds - Enjoy in moderation.
- Popcorn - Snack on the air-popped variety.
- Watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple - Cut them up into bite-sized pieces as soon as you get home. A whole watermelon sitting on your counter won't do you much good when you need a snack.
- Mini carrots and hummus
- Cuties - Keep a few of these sweet, easy-to-peel oranges in your bag, backpack or car.
- Hershey kisses - Freeze them and savor one or two to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Keep These Staples On-Hand for Quick, Healthy Meals
Snacking is one contributor to weight gain, but so is eating unhealthy meals. If you have the building blocks on hand to make quick, healthy meals, you'll be less tempted to hit the drive-thru or order a pizza. Studies confirm that preparing food at home bolsters healthy eating. Here are a list of ingredients to keep on-hand for quick and easy meal prep. Mix and match for variety that will satisfy without sabotaging.
- Assorted healthy frozen proteins - Stock up on boneless skinless chicken breasts, salmon fillets, shrimp, lean ground turkey and chicken.
- Healthier condiments - Think mustard, balsamic vinegar, salsa and hot sauce.
- Healthy grains, such as brown rice, quinoa or farro.
- Chicken broth
- Garlic and onions
- Canned beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce
- A "rainbow" of vegetables - Mix and match green, red, yellow, orange, and/or purple vegetables for variety.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, pepper and assortment of dried spices
- Nonstick pan spray
Shopping smartly and stocking your kitchen with healthy options is the first step in changing your eating habits and setting yourself up for weight-loss success.