|Ferrando's tips for staying slim? Plan, scan and eat.
Q: I started working out and I feel so much better afterwards. As my day goes on I end up sabotaging all the hard work I put in exercising daily by eating fatty and sweet foods when I get home. How can I break myself of this bad habit and choose healthier foods?
-E, Kinney- Mission Viejo, CA
A: A common complaint I hear from clients I train is it is difficult to make changes at home with their eating and that FOOD sabotages their health and fitness goals. Most often I hear about the difficulty to control food choices and cravings which leads to unhealthy late night snacking, over eating, and overindulgence in processed and sugar laden foods.
The truth is, we are all human, and by nature we are drawn to fatty, sweet foods and unfortunately processed food, fat and sweets are in abundant supply. Many rationalize these foods as a “reward” and the mistake is we tend to over eat them. Clients often ask me, how I resist temptation - and my answer is the grocery store! If I do not buy processed fatty foods, then I do not eat them. Therefore my control always starts with what I purchase at the store!
Here are some simple tips to help you navigate through the grocery store, and help you fill your refrigerator and cupboards with good healthy food and ultimately assist you in eating better at all times of the day!
3 Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping:
- PLAN: Never go to the grocery store without a PLAN. Try not to go to the store without a list of items you need; otherwise you tend to fall victim to the marketing traps and make unhealthy or unnecessary food purchases. Each week prior to heading to the store, make a chart of the upcoming 7 days in the week and make a grocery list. Fill in the chart, determining what you will eat for every meal and snack in the upcoming week. While completing this chart take into account your weekly schedule of business lunches, afternoon and evening commitments and plan accordingly. Allocate certain meals as eating out, and plan meals and snacks as often on the go. When tempting foods are NOT in your house, refrigerator, cabinets, you will not be able to fall victim to late night unhealthy snacking, and poor food choices. If you don't have it - you can't eat it!
- SCAN (your fridge and cupboards): Next, after your meals and snacks are planned, and a list drafted, open the fridge and cabinets and do a review of the items there. This gives you the chance to toss any expired, spoiled or food that needs to be disposed of. You can also double check which condiments need to be re stocked. This prevents the fridge from being full of any foods that may need to be tossed out, and prevents unnecessary trips to the store in case you run out of something mid week.
- EAT: Finally, never go to the grocery store hungry! This will prevent impulse buying which usually consists of unhealthy food choices. If necessary prepare a nice meal and eat before going to the store. This ensures you maintain a clear head and remain rationale while shopping and not make any poor food choices/purchases because you are hungry (funny how everything sounds good when you’re hungry). If you purchase your groceries according to your plan and fill your house with good foods, you are more likely to stick with your health and wellness goals!
Remember - to make lifestyle changes manageable and long lasting. Try to make one small healthy change per week! Over the course of a year that is 52 changes! They all start with the food you purchase and controlling what you bring into the home from the grocery store.
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