I don’t believe anyone can honestly say they eat clean and healthy food all day, every day – we are only human after all, and there’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat!
However, if despite your best efforts you keep falling off the clean eating wagon, you might want to take a look at your kitchen. Willpower plays a huge part in losing weight, but by making a few tweaks to your kitchen you can actually make it easier for you to stay on track.
1. Make sure healthy snacks are readily available
One of the hardest things to deal with when trying to lose weight is snacking. Eating five or six small meals a day is the best way to keep your metabolism fired up, but if you do crave snacks, then it can be hard to fight the urge to reach for crisps or biscuits. Why? Because they’re so easily accessible! What sounds more appealing out of chopping up some carrot sticks and preparing some homemade guacamole, or opening a bag of crisps? The crisps of course – and that doesn’t necessarily mean that you prefer the taste of the crisps; it’s just because it’s quicker and easier…and there’s no washing up to do afterwards!
Avoid this dilemma by preparing some healthy snacks every evening before going to bed, so they’re ready for you to grab any time the snack cravings strike the following day. Chop some fruits and/or vegetables, and prepare a quick and easy dip, and place them in a sealed container in the fridge ready for you to pick up and go. This takes hardly any time at all, and knowing that the preparation is already done will make you more likely to reach for the healthy snack.
2. Keep unhealthy snacks out of the house
This is one of the easiest ways to prevent reaching for chocolate, crisps, ice cream, etc – simply because it’s not there! By not having any unhealthy foods in the house you are more likely to eat some of the healthy snacks you’ve prepared – as they will be your only option.
3. Make it fun
If your fridge and cupboards are full of the same things every day then you’re obviously going to get bored with what you’re eating. Eating clean healthy food doesn’t have to be boring – it’s often difficult to choose healthy food over unhealthy food simply because the healthy food options just aren’t as exciting. Unless you love celery, the idea of substituting a chocolate bar for some chopped celery isn’t exactly appealing! Plain chicken and vegetables can get very boring too! There are plenty of ways that you can make your healthy meals more appealing though.
Try new foods – we all have our staple meals and snacks – things that we buy every time we go to the supermarket, but by mixing it up a little you’ll find new flavours and you’re likely to love what you’ve found. Keep new and exciting foods in your kitchen. If you’re bored with salad with no dressing for lunch, try avocado baked eggs. Or if you really crave chicken nuggets, try cashew coated chicken. This doesn’t mean you have to ditch your regular meals – just think of ways to make them more exciting, and you’ll be less likely to crave junk food because your taste buds will be content.
4. Stick a picture of your goal on the fridge
This can either be a photo of when you were at a weight you are trying to reach again, a picture of a celebrity who has the body you want, or a motivational saying. Have you noticed that when you’re having a ‘fat day’ all you want to eat is healthy food? The same thing applies with the fridge picture – seeing that body or those motivational words will remind you that you want to achieve your goals this time, and will prevent you from gorging.
5. Invest in a smoothie machine
Smoothies are a great way to get loads of vitamins and nutrients. Buy a smoothie machine – it doesn’t have to be an expensive one, and within minutes you can have a tasty healthy snack ready to drink. It’s not likely that you’d be happy to sit down and eat half an avocado with two sticks of celery, two apples and some mint leaves all together, but mixing them into a smoothie tastes great! Smoothies are also brilliant for if you aren’t a big fan of fruit and veg as you can mask the flavours you don’t like with flavours you do like!
6. Get rid of the deep fat fryer
If you have a deep fat fryer in your house then you’re increasing your chances of using one. Having it around is just going to keep tempting you, and sooner or later you’ll give in to those cravings…because it’s right there! Don’t allow yourself to be plagued by things that instantly make you want bad food every time you see them – take the leap and get rid of it. Why not use the funds from selling it to put towards the smoothie machine?!
7. Stock up on green tea
Green tea is a great fat burner! If you’re a regular tea or coffee drinker, get a pack of green teabags and put them next to your kettle – that way the next time you go to make a cup of tea to dunk some biscuits in you’ll see the green tea and will be likely to make the healthier choice. I find that if I’m craving something bad and I have to get past something that I know is super healthy then some sort of guilt will set in, and I’ll choose the healthy thing.
8. Do the washing up regularly
If you’re someone who likes to leave the sink piled up and only wash the items when you need them then it could be time to break out of that habit – I’ve found that if I’m about to make a healthy snack, but I have to wash up the cutlery and crockery first (as well as the cooking utensils, if needed) then I will just reach for something quick and easy instead. Yes I admit – that’s lazy, but if I’m in a rush or really hungry, then I don’t want to take extra time to wash up before I even start preparing the food…and the chances are, neither do you. Wash up your items as soon as you have used them, and you’ll prevent the ‘lazy convenient snack grab’.
9. Plan ahead
How many times have you had good intentions for a healthy meal, but ended up eating some junk food thrown together in a rush? Be honest – we’ve all done it. Prevent this by planning ahead – decide at the beginning of the week what you’re going to have for your meals each day for that week. I appreciate this isn’t going to sit well with those of you who love spontaneity, but it will make it easier each day because you won’t have to spend ages deciding what to cook and you’ll also be far less likely to just grab anything and eat it because you’ll have already bought the food for that day/night’s meal!
A huge part of sticking to a clean eating lifestyle is preparation. Plan ahead, and it’ll be much easier.