Lead not to temptation....
So the festivities are over, you have set your new year resolutions but have you left yourself open to temptations?
Many struggle with adapting healthier nutrition behaviours and choices because the unhealthier version is easier and accessible.
The starting of the nutritional change is always the hardest and most likely the time you will be led to temptation but there are a number of measures you can put in place (at least initially) to help make the transition easier.
One of those is to take the temptation away.
OK, you have decided that you are no longer going to snack on junk foods, i.e. crisps, chocolate, biscuits but pick healthier choices instead.
However, it comes to snack time, you go to your cupboard and it is full of junk food and the avocado dip with veggie sticks you were planning on having now seems like a more time consuming, boring option.
The pre-prepared option is always going to be a quick, easy option and at the beginning when you are trying to make changes can be very dangerous.
So what do you do?
You need to take the temptation away by clearing out your cupboards. However, this may be easier said than done if you have a family. In circumstances like this you have two options:
1) Clear out any pre - prepared & sugar based unhealthier foods
2) Have a separate cupboard for the rest of the family and their unhealthier snacks
So lets look at these options in a little more detail.
Option 1 initially seems a little hard on the rest of your family, taking away all the treats in the house. But if you consider it another way, you are making healthy lifestyle choices for your health, surely it makes sense for your family to eat the same. If you are eating differently to your family it is always going to feel like a diet and harder to succeed.
Surely, the whole family eating healthy, reducing processed foods, chemicals, high added sugar and replacing with nutritional foods is a good thing?
Do you want you family to have the same bad habits as you in the future?
By improving your family habits now, will help your children and their health for the future. .
This doesn't mean that you or your family can never eat those things again, it just means that they are seen as treats not as the norm in the cupboards to snack on when you want. By having these in the cupboard they will become (if not already) habit to as they are there - easier and convenient.
The best approach to treats for your family is to buy them as and when needed rather than stock them.
They become less accessible, reducing the consumption of them and they are now seen as more of a treat.
So option 1 is the healthier choice for all your family, but if you think this is too difficult or that the rest of your family may need a little time to settle into the changes and need a more gradual approach then you may need option 2 - a separate cupboard.
For this you will need to designate a cupboard solely for the unhealthier foods. This way when you come to prepare yourself a snack, you open the cupboard door and the first thing you see isn't shiny bright enticing packets of unhealthier, less nutritional snacks jumping out at you, tempting you.
Some may find even a separate cupboard difficult so you may want to use a tucked away cupboard or maybe even with a lock (sounds drastic but may make it more inconvenient and make you think more)
What do you do with the food you are clearing out?
So you have cupboards full of foods that you want to clear out, what do you do with it? Im not suggesting that you completely waste food by throwing it all out, that is not good for your pocket or the environment.
Here are a couple of suggestions for clearing out
- Have a giant family get together and eat it all
This option may also make you feel a bit sick of sugary foods and help you start your new habits. However, this may not be the best idea if you have weeks of junk food as it may not be too good for you.
- Gradually eat it all over a week or two and don't buy any more
This may work better if you need a gradual approach with your family. Make a treat cupboard as above and start changing the behaviour - eating as treats. Also, bringing in more healthier treats / foods over that time
- Clear everything out and give away
There are many food banks around collecting for charities, or maybe just friends and family will happily take off your hands.