What kind of food do you have hanging around? Are there leftovers from the holidays, a random piece of birthday cake, frozen pigs in blankets you bought for possible guests, a bag of mini chocolate chips in case you decide to bake some cookies. Do you really need the gigantic box of cereal from Costco or the two extra jars of peanut butter that were on sale? Do you have some mini candy bars tucked in the corner of your desk?
Hey, we’re all guilty of storing food in preparation for the onslaught of visitors or the next blackout. The problem is that the extra food is not conducive to managing your weight. Why? Because usually if we see it, we eat it.
Take a look in your fridge, your cupboards, and your desk and kitchen drawers. What’s in there? Why did you buy it and when? Do you really need it – or does it call your name when you really don’t want to indulge in those extra calories but can’t escape the allure of the food at hand.
Tip of the day:
You might want think about what prompts you to buy extra or large quantities of food that tempts you and that you really don’t need to eat. Knowing why you buy is key to developing some good shopping habits. Doing a “cleanse” of cupboards, the fridge, and drawers by getting rid of what tempts you is a good way to prevent hundreds of excess calories from making their way into your mouth. Remember: See It = Eat It.
Do you fall into any of these food purchasing categories?
- Bargain shopping: getting the largest amount of food for your money by buying a dozen of what’s on sale or two of the gigantic size at Costco? Who ends up eating the excess?
- Getting the most calories for your money and the biggest bang for your buck. Is it a bargain if it tempts you to eat the excess?
- Buying special or celebratory food because it’s someone’s birthday, or Thanksgiving, or Easter, or your kid’s team is coming over. Do you really buy it because of company or because the event has given you an excuse to buy – and indulge – in what you ordinarily wouldn’t?
- Buying food you’ve always wanted to try and or on the spur of the moment because you happened to see it in the store. Then you get the food home find out that your family really hates it. So you eat it – all of it.
- What about the product of the moment – which might fall into any number of categories. It could be trendy, the latest low-fat wonder, or the cake mix your neighbor said was so good. Maybe it’s good, maybe not – but who ends up eating it?
- Then there’s the diet foods: the low or no fat, low or no sugar, fiber rich, reduced calorie bars and cookies you bought in an endless quest for the miracle food that won’t pack on the pounds. Guess what – they still have a whole bunch of calories.
- The convenience foods – the stuff, probably already prepared and/or processed, frozen, or take-out — that you grab when you are totally exhausted or exasperated and you want to get the food on the table and not have anyone complain about it. They’re often high calorie and not too nutritious – and come in multi-sized portions.
- Here’s the big one: the reward foods — the “I’ve had such a tough day” or “I’ve been so good all day” food that almost always packs a whopper of a sugar, fat, and caloric punch.They’re also the foods that, because of the sugar, fat, and salt, keep you coming back for more.
Sometimes there is a time and place for food from any of these categories. But, if you want to develop healthy weight management habits, think about your current habits and patterns and take action.
This article is part of the 30 day series of blog posts called: 30 Easy Tips for Looser Pants and Excellent Energy.