If you are planning to lose weight, your efforts should start not with your meals, but with your kitchen.
Have you had a really good look in your kitchen recently? If you do, what will you find there? Is there a deep fryer hanging about? Are the cupboards full of quick, convenient meals? Are they littered with packets of comfort foods like Tim Tams, biscuits, 2-minute noodles, chips, cakes, soft drink, sugary energy drinks and so on? What about the vegetable container in your fridge? Is it brimming with healthy vegetables, or are two four-week-old carrots the only sign of life?
How can you possibly expect to lose weight in these conditions? Weight loss is never easy to achieve, but a kitchen like this is sure to derail your efforts.
Before you start any kind of weight loss or healthy eating plan, it’s always a good idea to clear out your kitchen first. This will help you kick those bad habits, and set you up for weight loss success.
Start with appliances. What have you got, and what needs to go?
1. The deep fryer seriously has to go. You aren’t going to lose weight by eating food that’s been deep fried in fat. It’s just not healthy, and it’s way too tempting, so give it away, biff it out. Gone!
2. Purchase a grill, like the George Foreman grill. This is a fantastic tool to have in the kitchen, is not expensive. It will help you lose weight by allowing you to cook delicious meals without excess fat and cooking oil.
3. A blender, or magic bullet, is such a handy thing to have. You can use it to make smoothies, blend soups, blend pancake mixtures, blend oats finely, chop nuts, you name it. I love mine! It gets so much use.
4. Purchase some quality fry pans and saucepans. Non-stick, and made from good materials.
Right, now that’s done, let’s tackle the fridge and pantry.
1. Clear out the biscuits, crackers, bad cheese, soda drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices that are full of sugar! All those sugary snacks/bars and kids muesli bars need to go too, as does white rice, white pasta, white bread, and anything else that is quick to make, convenient and loaded with sugar and white flour.
2. Write a shopping list. This should contain lots of healthy food and no more sugary or salty snacks. Your list should contain lots of vegetables, including plenty of green, leafy varieties, red ones, and orange ones too. You should avoid potatoes and other starchy, high-density vegetables. Grab a few banana’s, apples, strawberries, and in season fruit. There are some fabulous frozen berries that are really good to have in the freezer. Fruit, in moderation, is very healthy. However, you should remember that fruit alone will not help you lose weight as it contains lots of natural sugar.
3. Next, protein sources. Salmon, fish, lean red meat, chicken, eggs, tuna, and dairy products are all good choices for your weight loss diet. Believe it or not, you are better off eating Greek yoghurt than a low fat fruity yoghurt as this is often full of hidden sugar.
4. And now for the fats. Yes, the good fats! Avocado, nuts, tahini, hummus, oils (macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, olive oil).
5. Pick up some spices, fresh herbs, lemons, limes, balsamic vinegar, chillies and garlic. These will add some flavour to your weight loss diet, replacing unhealthy sugar and salt.
6. Tea is also a good addition to your weight loss diet. Try some herbal teas and teas, such as rooibos, red bush tea from South Africa. Good quality real coffee is also very good for you, just in moderation.
7. And don’t be afraid to add a bottle of red wine to your shopping list. One glass of red wine, and maybe some dark chocolate, is a perfectly healthy after-dinner treat.
Now that the contents of your kitchen have been replaced with new, healthier appliances and foods, you are ready to start losing weight. You can move forward with fresh ingredients, a fresh mindset and no temptations.
Right, ready, steady……………cook!