Nutrition

7 simple food ‘hacks’ for weight loss

The term ‘hack’ is being used a lot lately. While it used to have a negative connotation, these days to ‘hack’ is to find a quicker, easier and more effective method for achieving a goal. We talk a lot about efficiency in our workout classes. Each workout, each routine is carefully crafted to meet your needs, while constantly challenging you in new and exciting ways. But, we only have 45 minutes or an hour to do it. Sometimes, life works that way too. You have a small window of time and have to choose how to best utilize that time in an impactful way.

 

There are life hacks (like packing Christmas ornaments in empty egg cartons), cooking hacks (like placing a handful of cherry tomatoes between two plates and using a knife to halve them all in one fell swoop), and as I’ll share with you today, weight loss hacks.

 

Weight loss hacks are ways of doing everyday things, like eating, in a way that promotes fat loss and blocks fat storage. Sounds pretty great, right?!

 

Here are our 7 most effective Weight Loss Hacks…

 

Weight Loss Hack #1: Cauliflower Rice

Serve shredded, sautéed cauliflower as rice, rather than traditional brown or white rice. This simple hack will save you hundreds of calories per meal and will leave you no less satisfied. You can even add your favorite spices and flavor additions as you do with traditional rice. It tastes delicious, trust me!

 

Weight Loss Hack #2: Vegetable Noodles

There are many ways to create and enjoy noodles made from vegetables, rather than noodles made from grains. The veggie noodles are a hundred times less fattening than grain-based noodles, so what are you waiting for?! Use a spiral slicer to turn zucchini or butternut squash into noodles; bake a spaghetti squash and scrape out those nature-made noodles; or simply use a traditional veggie peeler to create long noodle strips from zucchini.

 

Weight Loss Hack #3: Lettuce Wrapped

By simply replacing your sliced bread and buns for large pieces of lettuce, you’ll quickly eliminate a couple hundred calories from each meal. Once you get used to the crunch of the lettuce you’ll enjoy your new style of sandwich and burger even more than the traditional way.

 

Weight Loss Hack #4: Protein Powder

Did you know that protein powder can be used in many recipes to increase the protein and reduce the carbs? Replace a portion of the flour in your pancakes with high quality protein powder and you’ll see how delicious it tastes while being so much healthier for you.

 

Weight Loss Hack #5: Coconut Oil

Replace the vegetable oil in your kitchen with coconut oil, and enjoy benefits such as increased fat burning and reduced appetite. In addition, you’ll be avoiding the pitfalls of other, less healthy oils and fats. Coconut oil can be used in virtually any recipe – both stove top and baking.

 

Weight Loss Hack #6: Wholesome Sweeteners

Throw the refined sugar out of your kitchen and replace it with any one of these wholesome sweeteners: coconut sugar, raw honey, pure maple syrup, or pitted dates. By getting your sweet fix from these wholesome, real food sweeteners you’ll be taking in fewer calories and there will be less of an impact on your blood sugar, which will result in less fat stored.

 

Weight Loss Hack #7: Water

Replace high calorie beverages with crystal clear water. This simple hack could quite possibly change your life. If high calories, sugar-laden beverages make up a significant part of your daily calories then switching to water will swiftly induce fat loss.

 

Start using these Fat Loss Hacks today and enjoy a leaner, more fit physique. Let us know when your jeans start to feel loose around the waist!

Low Carb Spaghetti and Meatballs

So you ditched that package of high-carb noodles from your pantry, now learn to love nature’s healthy noodles: spaghetti squash. If you haven’t yet tried spaghetti squash then you’re in for a real treat. A pile of tender spaghetti squash strands piled high with protein and veggie meatballs makes the perfect fitness meal.Servings: 12

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 pounds lean, organic, grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 pound lean, sweet turkey sausage
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 omega-3, eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • Optional: handful of olives

Sauce

  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • splash of white wine
  • 2 cups fresh basil, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • dash of salt and pepper

Noodles

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash spaghetti squash and poke all over with a knife. Place directly on the middle oven rack and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, slice in half and remove the seeds. Scoop the spaghetti squash strands out with a large spoon, set aside in a bowl.
  2. Throw all of the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and mix with your hands. Form into large, golf ball sized meatballs.
  3. Combine all of the sauce ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well.
  4. Cook with Crockpot: Place the meatballs in your slow cooker. Cover with the sauce and cook on low for 6-8 hours. OR Cook with stovetop: Place meatballs in a large pot. Cover with sauce and cook, covered, over low heat for 2-3 hours.
  5. Place a scoop of spaghetti squash noodles on each plate, top with meatballs and some sauce and then throw on a few olives.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals:  266 calories, 12g fat, 426mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 26g protein

Curried Chicken and Veggies

This chicken and veggie dish is light and delicious. Yogurt and curry flavors blend for an enjoyable new chicken experience. Enjoy it as a tasty lunch or a protein packed dinner.Servings: 2
Here’s what you need…

  • 5 oz boneless raw chicken breast, diced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 5 cups raw mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups China peas
  • 1 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  1. Put 2 teaspoons olive oil and the diced chicken in a non-stick pan. Cook chicken until browned, then add chicken broth, yogurt, curry powder and cornstarch, stir constantly. Heat until thick sauce forms, then simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. While chicken is cooking put 2 teaspoons olive oil, mushrooms, bell peppers, and china peas in another non-stick pan. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Place an equal amount of vegetable on 2 plates and top with equal amounts of chicken.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 373 calories, 13g fat, 35g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 32g protein.

9 Food Swaps that Slash 100+ Calories

Losing weight isn’t easy…we don’t have to tell you that. You’ve been striving towards your weight loss goal for longer than you’d like to admit. It’s really easy to hit a snag and fall off course, as life takes its course. It’s really difficult to continue to lose weight when you reach those last 5, 10 pounds. But, what if we could cheat the system a little bit? Regardless of where you are in your journey, you can find ways to be more resourceful. You can make a meaningful difference, every single day.
So, what if you could drop 100 calories or more by making a single change to your meal or snack? It is possible. You’ve just got to know where to swap.Ready? Get swapping!

Food Swap #1: From Bread to Topless
No, you don’t have to give up bread altogether. If you want to quickly watch 100 calories slide off your meal, all you’ve got to do is toss the top piece of bread from your sandwich or the top bun from your burger. It may require a bit of balancing on your part, but it will instantly save you 100 calories and help that loaf of bread go twice as far.

Food Swap #2: From Bagel to English Muffin
Since we’re already talking bread, we may as well knock out the bagel dilemma. They’re delicious, thick, and hard to resist. However, if you can toss them out the window for an English muffin instead, you’ll still enjoy great flavor (and a delightful texture) and without even batting an eye, trim 100 calories from your breakfast, lunch, or snack.

Food Swap #3: From Cream to Nonfat Milk
Have a hard time taking your coffee straight? You’re not alone. Not interested in giving up coffee altogether? Then you’re going to need to find a new option to the creamer-heavy concoction you make on a daily basis. The easiest solution is to swap out your creamer for nonfat milk or almond milk. Lucky for you, this small swap pays off big, cutting 100 calories from your morning jolt.

Food Swap #4: From Regular to Light Beer
Your taste buds may revolt at the thought of light beer, but your shrinking waistline will love it. Drop your insistence on good ol’ regular beer and drop 100 calories during a two-beer sitting.

Food Swap #5: From Juice to the Real Thing
Orange juice is a staple of many folks’ breakfast routines. What if you tossed the juice and went for the real thing—a genuine, bona fide orange? You probably already guessed that this, too, would shave a lot of calories from your meal. At the same time, you’ll get more fiber to keep your day moving along well.

Food Swap #6: From Peanuts to Edamame
They’re readily available, taste great, and give you the salt fix you need. Peanuts are not, however, a low-calorie snacking option. Swap them out for edamame and you’ll grab 4 bonus grams of protein, while cutting your calorie count by 100.

Food Swap #7: From Shake to Milk
When the stress of life gets to you, few things help you forget about your troubles better than a chocolate milkshake or big bowl of chocolate ice cream. Unfortunately, that shake leaves you feeling bloated (and for good reason). It’s jam packed with calories. Get the same chocolate comfort with a glass of chocolate milk instead of a shake and cut out at least 100 calories.

Food Swap #8: From Bacon to…Bacon
You grew up eating maple pork bacon and you’ve trained your kids to salivate at the thought of it. What if there was a way to have your bacon and eat it, too—without quite as many calories? There is. Going for an ounce—yes, just one ounce—of maple turkey bacon instead of the pork version will shave more than 100 calories from your daily consumption. And you still get to eat bacon! Just be sure the product you choose isn’t loaded with nitrates or chemicals.

Food Swap #9: From Raisins to Grapes
They won’t stay fresh for months on end, but if you eat fresh grapes instead of their wrinkled siblings, you’ll cut right around 100 calories at once.

Yes, it truly can be that easy! And it does all add up a make a contribution, over time.

 

Awesome Spinach Salad

This spinach salad tastes amazing! Spinach is an extremely nutrient-dense food, so you’ll be fueling up on important vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fiber. The recipe calls for raspberry vinegar, which is a flavorful and refreshing alternative to traditional, oily dressing. The fruit and nuts add flavor, fiber and healthy fat.

Servings: 8

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 cups cleaned spinach leaves
  • 3 oranges, peeled, sliced and quartered
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled sliced and quartered
  • 1/8 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced or whole raspberries
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic raspberry blush vinegar
  1. Combined the spinach, oranges, cucumbers, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds and strawberries in a bowl.
  2. Add the vinegar and toss well.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 99 calories, 3g fat, 14g carbohydrate, 2.6g fiber, and 3.5g protein.

Cranberry Quinoa Mini Muffins

Here is a muffin that is truly packed with fiber. Whole wheat flour and wholesome cooked quinoa combine with almonds and cranberries for a moist and delicious treat. Cooked quinoa can be used in place of some of the flour in almost any recipe to increase protein and fiber. Servings: 36

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup unsweetened rice milk
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • zest from 1 small lemon
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup organic turbinado raw cane sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees F. Place 12 muffins liners in muffin pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine the rice milk, flaxseed, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, almond and lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, ground almond, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ones and fold in the cooked quinoa and chopped cranberries.
  4. Use an ice cream scooper to fill each muffin liner 3/4 full. Sprinkle the turbinado raw cane sugar on top of each muffin. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 55 calories, 2.5g fat, 8g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 1g protein.

Roasted Chicken and Veggies

 

Roasting a whole chicken with veggies is a wonderful meal and is much simpler to prepare than you might think. Make this recipe on the weekend and then enjoy nutritious leftovers throughout your week. Just be wary of the skin and the darker meat! Servings: 5

Here’s what you need…

  • 3 bulbs garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil, gently melted
  • 1 Tablespoon each minced, fresh rosemary, oregano, tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • zest and juice from one lemon
  • 4 large organic carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 organic zucchini, cut into 1 inch half-moons
  • 1 cup pearl onions, ends trimmed
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 hormone-free, organic chicken
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the tips of each section of the garlic bulbs. Place the blubs in a small glass pan. Brush the tops with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine the melted coconut oil, fresh herbs, minced garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Set 1/3 of the mixture aside for the veggies.
  4. In a large bowl combine the carrots, zucchini, pearl onions and Brussels sprouts with 1/3 of the herb mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Rinse your chicken and pat dry. Carefully slide your hand between the skin and the breast and liberally rub some of the herb mixture. Rub the rest of the herb mixture over the top of the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the chicken on a large roasting pan, and surround it with the veggies.
  6. Roast the chicken and veggies for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, pour 1/2 cup of chicken broth over the chicken and veggies, and place the garlic pan in the oven off to the side.
  7. For the next 90 minutes, pour 1/2 cup of broth over the chicken and veggies every 30 minutes as it cooks at 350 degrees F.
  8. To see if the chicken is done, poke the tip of a sharp knife between the leg and body and see that the juices run clear. Transfer the chicken and veggies to a large platter. Add a couple of the roasted garlic bulbs to the chicken platter, reserving one for the gravy.
  9. To make gravy: Pour all of the roasting pan juices into a skillet and bring to a simmer. Remove the garlic cloves from one of the roasted blubs and smash with a fork. Add garlic to skillet. Mix in the tablespoon of coconut flour, and whisk the gravy as it simmers. Cook for 10 minutes, or until desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Analysis: 251 calories, 14g fat, 113mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 17g protein

 

How to Set Up an Account on MyFitnessPal

Go to myfitnesspal.com, click “Sign up now!”

 

Enter your username, email address, and choose a password.

On the next prompt, enter your current weight, goal weight, and other relevant information.

There is a brief, three item questionnaire that will ask you about your lifestyle, workout plans, and overall goal. Be very conservative!

Continue to the next page and print your “Suggested Fitness And Nutrition Goals”. Hang it somewhere that you will be able to see every day.

Click “get started now” to view your profile.

Spend some time getting to know the site, reading success stories, forum posts, and updating your profile. Make it your own!

You should see a link that says “find new friends on myfitnesspal®”…search for username “Justinsgym” and “ktlips101” and send us a request!

For us to be able to view and monitor your diet…

Go into “Settings” at the top of the screen, “Diary Settings”, and choose the nutrients you wish to track (we suggest carbs, fat, protein, fiber, and sodium/sugar)

In the same tab, modify your meal names and times to reflect a typical day. You can use Justin’s as an example.

Scroll down and change your diary sharing to “friends only” or” locked with a key”.  Save changes.

Send us the key via email or using the message tool to let us know your site is active!

Time Magazine – How to Eat Now

Eat at home because it’s good for you, it’s good for your family and it’s far easier than you think, says best selling food writer Mark Bittman, in a recent TIME’s cover story.

In today’s fast paced world we consume over 30% of our daily calories away from home. These less-than-wholesome calories are accumulating around our waists and draining our bank accounts.

So why do we eat out and shun the kitchen? Simple: convenience. We don’t have the time to toil away over a hot stove. However, evidence is mounting that we are paying big for the so-called convenience of outside food.

Obesity related diseases are on the rise, as are the number of folks who are just plain unhappy with how their bodies look and feel. Cooking at home seems to be the first step in our road to healthier bodies.

Here are the top 5 reasons that you should starting cooking and eating at home…

Reason #1: It’s Good For You
Hyperprocessed foods are harmful to our health, and that’s exactly where you’ve been getting the bulk of your calories. Even restaurant food that contains fresh produce, chances are high that the produce is not organic, or local or non-GMO. Most of us are eating less than half of the recommended amount of fiber, fruit and vegetables, which eating at home could quickly change.

Simple meals made at home with fresh produce and organic meats or eggs are nutritionally superior to over-flavored, over-processed restaurant food. Not to mention the high calorie beverages and starters that so often accompany a restaurant meal. When you eat at home you take in more nutrient-dense calories that are higher in fiber.

Reason #2: It’s Far Easier Than You Think
Eating out so often has conditioned our concept of a meal to be one with complicated flavors and accompaniments. This misconception has made us fear the kitchen. But I urge you to reconsider.

Meals made at home need not mirror those ordered in restaurants. On the contrary, simple is better when it comes to home cooking. Plan your entire meal around a couple of pieces of fresh produce and a wholesome, lean protein. No need for complicated sauces or sides – these are where the harmful calories hide anyway.

Reason #3: It Costs Less
Fresh, simple ingredients do not cost much. Especially when compared to the cost of prepared meals. Bittman’s advice on ingredient shopping is to, “Buy what you can afford, and cook it yourself. Rice, beans, bacon, salad, bread –few things are cheaper than that.”

Shopping the perimeter of the store is always a good plan. Here you’ll find the fresh produce, meats, dairy and seafood. Venture into the aisles for oils and spices to compliment the fresh ingredients.

Reason #4: It Is Preventative Medicine
In the US the annual health care expenses related to obesity is $150 billion, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Worldwide this number is over $1 trillion annually. These numbers are staggering, and sobering when you think of all the individual lives that are being negatively impacted by obesity.

Rather than waiting for you and your family members to experience the health risks related to obesity, start your own mission to cook simple meals at home and redirect your future. Remember the words of Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Reason #5: It Reduces Body Fat
Eating at home is also one of the best ways to reduce your body fat. Bittman states that meals eaten at home contain an average of 200 calories less than meals eaten out. Let me tell you, a reduction in 200+ calories per meal will quickly translate to pounds lost!

Start today, and don’t be afraid to start small.

Pick one meal that you’ll make at home either today or tomorrow, and write down your simple menu and grocery list.

And let’s not forget the place that a challenging, consistent exercise program has in your quest for good health and a fit physique.

Don’t let this holiday season get the best of you. Take control of your diet right now!

Hey you, yeah you!

It’s about time you do something proactive. Take charge of your health, your weight, your future… once and for all. The kids are back to school, the holidays are fast approaching, and it’s time to face the music. This is it folks, the calm before the storm.

First, the weather cools down, minimizing outdoor activities.

Then, the students flood the area and everyone either a) trudges back to work or b) goes into hiding. The first round of fitness routines quickly falls by the wayside, just like that (we’ll bring you back!).

Football season heats up and the fridge is stocked up with Octoberfest.

Before you know it, the candy isles begin to pop up everywhere to taunt you with those big, oversized bags.

By now, Grandma surely has her sights set on her famous homemade stuffing and apple pie.

Why not some wine by the fire on a cold winter day?

“It’s too cold to food shop, let’s order in tonight honey”.

Finally, we finish with a downright assault of cookies, cakes, holiday party after holiday party, and leftovers galore.

No wonder why so many people tend to struggle, year after year. I don’t want to see another year of inconsistency and frustration with lofty New Years’ Resolutions quickly following suit. I’m sick of that pattern. It shouldn’t have to be that way. Hell, I just outlined half of the issues that strike down each year. So let me ask you this: What do you do when the weather forecasts a major storm? Do you plan ahead, stock up, and dust off the old generator? Or do you keep your fridge full of perishables and your windows open with the dog tied out back?

Maybe you messed up this weekend…ate like crap, drank too much. Maybe you didn’t. You know what? It doesn’t matter. The focus here is on prevention and damage control. Tomorrow, you’re back to work and we’re not about to let another uninspiring week pass you by. You’re stuck in a rut and I hate to say it, but you’re the perfect candidate for winter weight gain. We won’t let you succumb to that, not this year. BUT, it has to start right here, right now, so let’s jump right in.

First step: Print this post.

Next, take a walk to your fridge, open it up and tell me what you see. We’ll keep it as simple as possible…

How many of these items can you find?

  • Salad Greens
  • Three different colored vegetables
  • Three different types of fruits
  • 3 on the go quick protein options (i.e. hard boiled eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.)
  • Pre-cooked or 5 minute throw-together meal options (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for at least three consecutive days. I can help you with these.
  • Defrosted chicken and/or fish, portioned and ready to cook as needed.

Well, how’d you do? And what does all this mean?

The reality is that if a food is in your possession or located in your residence, either you or a loved one will eventually eat it. If the temptation is there, the decision is easy.

In other words, keep only the food or drinks that you SHOULD actually consume.

In other, other words, enough is enough! Believe it or not, you know enough to be able to begin to identify which foods should stay and which should go, right off the bat. Call upon your own knowledge and judgment and make that initial step. This is about owning up to your decisions. If a food and/or drink isn’t conducive to your goals, why would you keep it? Insert defensive, self-justifying excuse here:

  • I hate wasting food
  • It was on special
  • So and so likes these
  • It’s for special occasions (like this Tuesday, when I’ll have a bad day at work)
  • Etc.

Let’s get real here!

If it isn’t helping you reach your goals, you don’t need it. End of story. So here we go. Perfect day for a kitchen makeover!

  1. A kitchen makeover gets rid of the non-nutritious stuff and/or foods that trigger you to engage in poor eating behaviors. Then it replaces the junk with a plethora of health-promoting foods.
  2. A kitchen makeover helps you stay in control and on track. You don’t want to be deciding between a couple of bites of ice cream and a small salad while getting the kitchen ready, waiting for the rest of your dinner to cook. Food decisions in our kitchen need. to. be. foolproof.
  3. A kitchen makeover helps you plan and structure your healthy eating patterns. You’ll appreciate having a safe home base after returning from the “food war-zone,” also known as modern society.

Here’s how it works…

Start with what you know. Gather all the unhealthy foods from your fridge and pantry. Now, get a few big garbage bags. See, I told you this was simple!

If a certain food has redeeming qualities, then you can take it to a local food bank or soup kitchen. If it’s complete junk, trash it. Get it out of the house.

Rule #1 If you think it’s junk, it is.

Rule #2 “But isn’t this a waste of food?” Nope. It’s junk.

Think about this: Would you dig through a dumpster for dinner? No? Why not? Because the food in there isn’t very good for you. It might be expired, rancid, full of bacteria, or at the very least covered in crud. It’s garbage.

So why would you eat foods that have no nutritional value — and which actively take away from your health? How is that different from dumpster diving? Yeah, that’s right…I called you a dumpster diver. So let’s do something about it. Let’s revisit the fridge and cabinets for round 2 of the action plan.

How many of these do you possess?

  • Chips
  • Cheesy snacks
  • Chocolates or candy
  • Soda/sweetened drinks
  • Alcohol, especially flavored/sweetened mixed drinks
  • Instant foods like cupcake mixes and mashed potatoes
  • Margarine and other processed fats
  • Most frozen dinners
  • Most take-out or restaurant leftovers
  • Bowls of candy or other snacks sitting around
  • Flavored nuts

Take a look back at our initial assessment… The percentage here is much higher, isn’t it? You know what? Forget it! It doesn’t matter…just get rid of it!

Ok, so we’ve established some things and made some progress. Great. Now, what’s left? There must be some foods that maybe you just aren’t sure about? Maybe you have a “maybe” pile, per say?

Here are some tricky foods that can seem healthy, but usually aren’t. They’ve gone from something good (whole, unprocessed food) to something that a machine barfed out, something that’s full of sugar and chemicals, and/or something that’s had all its original nutrients stripped out. (No, it’s not “healthy” because it says “fruit” – Check the label.)

Here we go on round 3…weeding out the tricksters!

  • Sweetened yogurt (yoplait) and frozen yogurt (excess sugar!)
  • Breads and bagels, unless they’re made exclusively with whole grains and 100% organic!
  • Breakfast cereals (see above comment)
  • Other baked goods
  • Crackers, even the whole grain ones – too tempting!
  • Granola bars – too many excess carbs
  • Regular peanut butter – difficult to control
  • Fruit juice – don’t need it, no fiber!

A good rule here is to check the labels. Look for forms of sugar such as high fructose corn syrup as well as hydrogenated oil, fractioned oil, and other preservatives with long, difficult to pronounce names.

Ok phew, we’re done.

Wait a minute! – We forgot about the refrigerator door! Here you’ll find some straight chemical and sugar BOMBS.

Maybe it’s time to take a second look? Here are the biggest culprits…

  • Condiments such as BBQ sauce and other sweetened sauces
  • Sweetened relishes, mustards, and ketchup
  • Salad dressings
  • Bread crumbs, croutons, and other dried bread products
  • Processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats
  • Spreads or cream cheeses

These are the types of things that tend to stay in the fridge a while. So why not spend the extra dollar or two on a quality product?

So there you have it! If you’re still in doubt at all, you can ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Does this food come in a bag, box, or plastic package?
  2. Does it have more than a couple of ingredients on the label?
  3. Can you pronounce all of those ingredients?
  4. How far away is this food from what it used to be? (And do you even know what it used to be?)
  5. Is this food perishable? Just about anything good for you goes bad quickly.

Obviously, there are exceptions to all of the above. But if there’s uncertainty, would you really want to test your willpower with them around? Obviously, it doesn’t work…especially with the holiday season just around the corner. There’s no room for error! At this point, to set yourself up for success, the best thing you can do is start fresh. Eliminate the temptation early and get yourself in the right mindset. Remove the obstacles before you even reach them.

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