It’s said that you can’t out-exercise a poor diet. What does that mean for your weight-loss goals?
You might have heard the saying “weight loss starts in the kitchen” somewhere on your weight-loss journey. This might be just what you need to hear if you’ve been pounding the pavement three times a week and still not seeing the weight-loss results you’re seeking.
For many people, physical activity is the “easy” part of the weight-loss journey.
There’s no denying that activity–whether that’s hitting up the gym or hiking in the hills–is essential for physical health. Cardio is great for your heart and lungs, and weight training keeps you strong.
But, you might be surprised to learn that if losing weight is your goal, you’ll need to make changes to your diet to see significant effects. Training to run a marathon will only get you so far if you’re not carefully considering what’s going on in your kitchen.
That doesn’t just mean what you eat, although that’s an important part of the equation. Our kitchens are places where we spend a lot of time and gain a lot of home comforts. We nurture our families through what we prepare in the kitchen, but we can also sabotage our weight-loss goals by falling back on old, familiar habits that are convenient but not always good for us.
If you’re serious about losing weight, you might need to change some of your kitchen habits. Some of these fixes might be easier to implement than you might think.
It can be easy to fall back into old habits when you’re hungry and busy. Smart meal prep, however, can eliminate part of the problem. Here’s two things you can do:
1. Batch cook at the weekend
If you have a few free hours–say, Sunday afternoon–and a large fridge-freezer, prepare your week’s meals in advance and store them in containers and snap-lock bags. Fresh items like salads can be quickly prepped just before you eat, but the elements of meals that require more cooking can be done in advance. If you have surplus, you can even save some for the week after.
You’ll be glad of your earlier meal prep when you come home from a long day of work and are tempted to reach for an unhealthy snack.
Simply heat your meal and tuck into something more nutritious. You’ll be less tempted to hastily throw a meal together when you’re hungry and not thinking properly about proper nutritional needs.
2. Order your groceries online
If you’re one of those people who finds supermarket shopping a tedious chore, you might be more susceptible to throwing snacks in the trolley as you walk past as a reward for getting it done.
Ordering groceries online and having them delivered or picking them up might allow you a bit more control. You can sit down at your laptop for 10 minutes and just add the things to your virtual cart that you really need. If you choose a time to do this when your stomach’s full and you’re feeling motivated on your weight-loss journey, you’ll be less likely to add all those extras that can potentially de rail your progress.
If you avoid buying them once when shopping, you won’t have to avoid them in your pantry all week.
Jenny Craig’s meal plans are an easy way to take the hassle out of meal prep and menu planning. Plus, they can be delivered to your door for your convenience. Find out more here.
Rearrange your kitchen
These three simple adjustments to your kitchen will help you approach food differently, before you even lift a fork to your mouth.
1. Reconsider what’s at eye level
You may “need” to have some items like biscuits, ice cream, or chocolate in your pantry, perhaps for other members of your family. But you don’t need to have them in your face every time you open the fridge or cupboard.
Put any items you might be tempted by out of immediate view, such as on a lower shelf or behind something else.
Even if you know they are there, it will at least make you stop and think if it’s something at you really need before rummaging around in search of something.
2. Put motivational pictures on your fridge
Remind yourself of why you’re trying to lose weight every time you head to the fridge. This might be a motivational statement, a before/after picture, a goal outfit, recipes to help you achieve a healthy diet, encouragement from your kids, or anything else that works for you.
You might need to change these every couple of weeks so their effect doesn’t wear off!
3. Buy yourself some new plates
Portion size is important for sticking to a healthy diet plan, but sometimes our kitchenware is working against us!
Image this: you reach for some low-fat yoghurt and berries as part of a healthy diet. You’re hungry and can’t be bothered measuring out your food. You fill a bowl. How big is the bowl?
The good intention of eating a healthy snack can be undone if you eat an overly large portion. It’s easy to miscalculate just how much you’re eating if your plates and bowls are unnecessarily large. But portion size plays a critical role in weight loss.
Help your healthy diet and weight-loss goals along by investing in some new dinnerware that’s smaller in size. Buy something pretty that matches your style and the size won’t even matter.
Weight loss starts in the kitchen but it doesn’t end there. Physical activity is an important piece of the puzzle. Jenny Craig’s Consultants can help you choose the best plan for your lifestyle.