5 Kitchen Mistakes that Affect Your Waist
Today, I have one of my favorite people in the nutrition biz writing for you! I’m sooo excited. Vanessa is wonderful! Don’t tell her, but I kind of have a girl crush on her-;) She knows her stuff, is a super savvy business gal, and can cook clean n’ fresh, like no other!
Written by: Vanessa Perrone, MSc., RD
Your kitchen has the potential to pave the way for healthy habits, or completely derail them. Luckily, you have the power to decide which way things will go. Take control of your health by working the odds in your favor and avoiding these five kitchen mistakes.
1. Temptation island
Let’s set the scene: you’ve been on a good streak. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, you’re struck with an overwhelming desire for something sweet. You open your pantry, spot a tub of chocolate-hazelnut spread and succumb to the craving. If this situation leaves you thinking that you have a willpower problem, think again. Science tells us our eating behavior is strongly influenced by our environment. In other words, you are not the problem.
It’s simply easier to stay on track when you’re surrounded by healthful choices. Mold your eating environment so it can work for you, not against you: tuck temptation foods away and make nutrient-dense foods like veggies and fruit the first items you see. I’m not saying your cravings will disappear entirely, but this strategy will act as a temptation barrier and force you to pause and reassess what you’re reaching for.
2. Unstocked pantry
In an ideal world, things would always go according to plan. But let’s face it: there will be nights when you come home to an echoey, empty fridge. In these cases, it’s critical that your pantry be stocked with healthy basics or you will find yourself menu in hand, dialing out.
Nonperishables like dried pastas, canned beans, canned fish, diced tomatoes, herbs, spices and condiments can help you whip-up a home cooked meal in minutes and save you a few dollars to boot.
3. Missing menu plan
If a goal without a plan is just a dream, then a menu plan is what you need to turn your health goal into a reality. Whether you write an elaborate menu plan or simply jot down your weeknight mains, this simple activity will give you direction in the kitchen at the end of the workday and ensure you enjoy healthful meals every night, without skipping a beat.
4. Empty freezer
Sure, store-bought convenience foods are speedy, but loading-up on instant noodles and frozen meals will not get you to your goal any faster. Every month, get into the healthy habit of batch-cooking meals and doubling freeze-friendly recipes: this while-you’re-at-it attitude will serve you later on, if you’re ever in a pinch.
Think: big batches of soup, homemade casseroles, meatloaf, chili or even salmon cakes are examples of healthy meals that heat and serve well.
5. No cook in the kitchen
Cooking is the single most important thing you can do for your health. It gives you control over the quality of your ingredients, of your portions and keeps you enjoying healthful, unprocessed meals, consistently. And since key elements for successful weight loss are food quality, portion-control and consistency, it’s essential to use cooking as a main strategy.
Don’t know where to start? Just begin with what you know and work your way up from there. With practice, you will build your cooking confidence and be ready to conquer the kitchen.