When embarking on a fat loss program, it’s important that four elements be in place to help speed results.
These “puzzle pieces” work best when all four are applied and make the base of your plan. I’ve taken my weight loss experience and written these strategies that I still practice to this day. These “cheat sheets” have allowed me to maintain my 170 pound weight loss for over 5 years and I am very excited to share them with you! I hope they help make your weight loss journey a bit easier.
1. Be in the proper mindset – Visualize your ideal body in your mind. Get a clear picture of what you want to look and feel like.
2. Have an exercise plan in place – Scheduling workouts is a great motivator and reminder of the journey you’re on. Tracking your workouts is a great way to keep moving forward and achieving your goals.
3. Create a support system – tell someone you trust about your weight loss efforts. Ask them if they could be your sounding board and offer encouragement while on your journey. This is a vital part of your efforts and can make the difference between weight loss success and just another attempt.
4. Stock your kitchen for weight loss – You will eat the food in your house, regardless of what it is. Making sure you buy foods that help you reach your goals is essential.
Today, I’ll go over the top 10 tips to stock your kitchen for weight loss success. Try them out and see how well they’ll work for you.
1. Write Up a Menu
Knowing the foods you’ll eat during the week takes guesswork out of the equation and ends the question “What’s for dinner?” Not only will you know what’s on your plate from day to day, but you’ll be saving money since this will minimize eating out or buying food on the run.
2. From the Menu, Write the Grocery List
Shopping with a list is essential to only buying foods to help you see results. You’ve established the meal plan, organized a list, and are now ready to venture out. Stick to the outer rim of the grocery store, since this is where the most nutritious foods are usually found. If it helps, write down each section of the store and what you’ll need from each. They can be: produce, meats, dairy, frozen foods, deli, grains and canned goods.
3. Buy convenience foods when necessary
This helps make meal prep easier, especially if you’re short on time. Pre-bagged salads, individual snack sizes of hummus, single serving yogurt cups, and low fat cheese sticks are all packaged for eating on the go. This makes sticking to your eating plan more manageable. If you don’t feel like playing butcher, there are brands that sell individual ready-to-cook chicken breast and fish portions that make meal prep a snap. Though more costly, this is a great way to make your life easier.
4. Read Food Labels Carefully
Reading food labels is a great way to sift through the junk and keep making progress. Food marketers are clever and design packaging to potentially confuse the consumer. Be especially skeptical of “fat-free”, “low-carb”, or “reduced fat” slogans on food packages. To achieve these claims, food companies add more sugar or artificial sweeteners in their products to make up for the lack of fat content. For low-carb foods, sugar alcohols are the usual culprit and while they don’t add any calories, may cause upset stomach and gas.
5. Add Some Spice
Become familiar with the spice and marinade section of the supermarket. There are tons of hearty flavors here that offer nutritional benefits with zero calories. Using spices in your cooking will help boost flavor, especially when the foods you prepare are lower in fat. There is no reason healthy food needs to be boring! Purchase (or re-stock) your spice rack and commit to using one new spice each week. This helps eliminate boredom with meals and helps increase flavor variety.
6. Purchase Take-Along Food Containers
Nowadays, you can find bargain packages of food containers to help assist you in portion control. Having these are handy because once meals are cooked; put them into these containers and store them in the fridge. For me, it makes packing up for the day easier since I’ll toss a pre-packed food container in my bag and fly out the door.
7. Use Measuring Cups and Spoons
If you ask someone how much they ate of something, chances are they will underestimate the amount. This has nothing to do with vanity but rather unfamiliarity with estimating food portions. Curious? Try this experiment; take two bowls and fill one with the suggested portion serving by “sight”. Next, use a measuring cup and repeat the process. As you will see, using measuring utensils make eating for weight loss virtually fail-proof.
8. Purchase a Food Scale
This goes hand in hand with measuring utensils, except with a food scale, you’re able to accurately portion meats and seafood portions. This practice helps save you money because it reduces overeating, not to mention helps keep your progress moving at a steady rate.
9. Buy Frozen Foods
I’m not talking about Totino’s pizza rolls! It’s a great idea to keep frozen fruits and bags of veggies in your freezer. There are several companies that sell bags you can throw in the microwave, making meal prep even easier. These foods are frozen when they are picked so the nutritional quality may be higher than that of fresh fruits and veggies. Plus, you can always toss a handful of berries in a protein smoothie and still be eating high quality, healthful food.
10. Try One New Food Each Week
Variety is the spice of life, and trying new foods is a great way to think outside the box. When you’re writing your menu, try something new. Look up an exotic grain, like Freekeh to try out. It doesn’t have to be a complete diet overhaul – just something new to help expand your culinary experience.
I hope these tips will help on your fat loss goals & as always I enjoy hearing from you!
The Fit Chef