This is simply the BIGGEST thing you can do to help guarantee you will stick to a healthy eating plan. It's simple…make your house a ‘safe zone.'
I'm not suggesting you'll never eat a candy apple at the Fair here but you want to make sure that only the healthiest options are at your fingertips.
While it may not be “spring cleaning” season, any time is a good time to go through your kitchen and eliminate those tempting items that can derail even the best of intentions.
And now is as good a time as any, right?!
1. Sugar-free foods
All of those processed items that you thought were okay because they contain no sugar but still allow you to indulge your sweet tooth, are likely filled with all sorts of chemicals, and artificial sweeteners like aspartame.
While those products are marketed to make you think they’re great for your weight loss efforts, like diet soda, for example, they’re actually anything but.
These food and beverages, while low in calories, actually cause you to eat more, resulting in the opposite of the desired effect.
That’s because artificial sweeteners can actually trick your body into believing that more calories are on the way. When the calories don’t come, the metabolism slows, which throws off the body’s ability to regulate appetite.
Not only that, but artificial sweeteners have been linked to all sorts of health problems.
Aspartame has been associated with a long list of side effects, just some of which include migraines and headaches, seizures, vomiting, kidney function decline and cancer – that’s in addition to the increased hunger and increased body weight I’ve already mentioned – more than enough reason to throw all of those sugar-free items out without hesitation!
2. Sugar-laden foods
Not only should sugar-free foods be thrown out, but those that are packed with sugar will need to go as well.
That means anything that contains sugar as a main ingredient – at the beginning of the ingredient list or in a number of different forms. Sugar is a major cause of inflammation, believed to be the root for a wide range of disease and illness, like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and high blood pressure as well as obesity.
Remember, sugar isn’t always listed as “sugar,” – it has more than 50 different names, which means it’s easy to get confused because the food industry often lists each of those ingredients separately.
Of the 600,000 or so foods that are produced and consumed in the U.S., over 80% contain added sugar!
When reviewing labels, look for ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and anything ending in “ose,” such as glucose and lactose, as the suffix is used to form the names of sugars. Others include things like barley malt, fruit juice concentrate, malt syrup and maltodextrin.
3. Processed meats
Processed meats like hot dogs, deli meat, bologna and bacon not only increase your risk of heart disease, but one study found that consuming them lead to nearly a one-pound weight gain.
Another discovered that one-third of the world’s population maybe at a higher risk of colorectal cancer by eating processed meat products.
4. Breakfast cereal
As many breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar, you might be throwing them out with all of your other sugar-packed foods, but even those less sugary types aren’t usually the best choice for your morning meal as they don’t have enough good calories to fuel you up for the long haul.
They also tend to be some of the most processed foods on the store shelf – regardless of those enticing so-called healthy claims on the box.
5. Flavored yogurts
Many people avoid plain yogurt like the plague, preferring the sweet taste of flavored yogurts, but not only do you instantly get double the amount of sugar, many are highly processed and filled with all sorts of unhealthy ingredients.
You might be surprised to find that adding some chopped, fresh fruit to plain yogurt adds plenty of sweetness without the unwanted side effects! If you still find it too bland, try adding just a dab of raw, organic honey.
6. Frozen entrees
Believe me when I say, I know how busy you are – and, that it can be extremely tempting to rely on those frozen entrees when you’re in a time crunch. But not only do they usually lack all of the important vitamins and minerals you need for good health, they’re generally highly processed and may even contain harmful trans fats as well as abnormally high levels of sodium.
While they may be convenient, if you’re an enthusiast of frozen meals, it’s really time to put your health before convenience.
7. Microwave popcorn
Once believed to be a dieter’s best friend, those prepackaged bags of unpopped kernels are now recognized as one of the worst things for your health, and your waistline.
Whether they’re just lightly buttered, or drowning in butter, toss those packages out – if you’re going to munch on popcorn, pop it the old-fashioned way with an air popper.
Now that you’ve thrown out all the junk, if your pantry is looking rather bare, stock it up with items like:
- extra virgin olive oil
- organic unrefined coconut oil
- dried herbs and spices
- almond flour
- raw nuts and seeds
- quinoa and farro
- herbals teas and lentils.
Once you’ve turned your home into a “safe zone” you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, slimmer you!
Yours in Health,