I used to be the type of person who could buy all kinds of treats, have ice cream in the freezer and actually consume it reasonably. Or at least I thought I was that type of person. Turns out spending endless amounts of time at home has awakened a snack monster I no longer control it seems. (Don’t tell my partner, we used to argue about this a LOT, when he would be home for a day and I would find he ate the treats I had hidden at the back of the cupboard! He would say, “if it’s here and I’m here, I’ll eat it!)
Lately, I find myself in the kitchen constantly. This working from home/remote work life is going to wear out the hinges on every cupboard! Anything snack worthy doesn’t last. Anyone else feeling this? What about when you don’t have any treats so you throw together random ingredients to create something, ANYTHING, that resembles a snack?! (I will admit some of these creations turned out too well… like what my partner calls cookie dough bowls…)
This inability to stop myself from eating anything and everything processed, with sugar, or high calories with little nutritional value has caused me to in re-evaluate my shopping habits. If you have some fitness goals, whether they are performance, weight loss or just being healthy, your nutrition has a lot to do with it.
Have you ever heard that saying, “can’t out train a bad diet”? Well it is true! That doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate everything indulgent you like to consume. It does mean you can make a huge impact and maximize your training with what you consume!
Here are 3 tips for making your cupboards work for you instead of against you:
- 1. Don’t Stock ‘Treats’
You know what treats I’m talking about, chips, candy, cookies… items you can reach for and crush without even thinking. Start being intentional with these items. If they are not on hand, you likely won’t make a special trip to the store to get them when the craving strikes. Even if you do, you will have to think about it.
Our brains are constantly making decisions. When we are tired, stressed or overwhelmed it gets harder for us to make the decision to only eat 1 cookie and not the whole box. If it’s not there, I can’t eat it.
- 2. Stock up on good options
Nutritious doesn’t have to mean boring and tasteless. Go on a mission to discover some snack options that you enjoy and give you more nutritional value! I LOVE peanut butter. Turns out there are peanut butters that taste as good if not better than the first one I would grab off the shelf with NO ADDED SUGAR. A little of that on a plain rice cake and 7 dark chocolate chips, and I am a happy camper! The goal here is to find items you enjoy, that also have nutritional value and no extra junk!
- 3. Prep your snacks!
Are you really into baked goods? Make you own and use better ingredients. Veggies and fruits are great snacks, you likely won’t grab if you need to wash and prep them. So, prep your snacks like meal prep! Make accessible healthy options and it’s way more likely you will reach for them.
None of these things are mind-blowing or earth-shattering, but they DO help. There is so much information out there about nutrition these days. So many diets, fads and promises. It can be crazy overwhelming. Like choosing an apple when it is sitting next to an apple pie. Focus on this, “Eat protein and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and little to no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.”