My wife, Deb, and I used to keep frozen yogurt and waffle cones in our house; we made a cone almost every night. A few years ago, Deb requested that I not buy cones and frozen yogurt anymore. She wanted to lose some weight and wanted temptation out of the house. She was right. Within a couple of weeks, we were both out of the habit and didn’t even miss it. If it isn’t in the house, we don’t eat it.
We now use that same strategy for any food that doesn’t mesh with our healthy eating goals, even if it’s something we used to like. It works. Over a year ago, I announced, loudly, that I was giving up French fries. I happen to like them, but within a few weeks the craving was gone. Not eating something that I knew had no redeeming nutritional value has helped me become more conscious about what I do want to eat.
Through a combination of exercise and healthier eating, I dropped 8 pounds and 3 percentage points of body fat in the past year. It’s amazing how small changes can make a big difference over time. Giving up that nightly cone of yogurt and the occasional French fries was the start.
Where should you start? Take an inventory of your refrigerator and cabinets. Which foods are healthy and which are not? What do you find yourself craving band why? Do you eat a lot of whole grains, or is the food in your kitchen highly packaged and processed? Pull out a few jars of salsa, a box of crackers and some salad dressing. Is there sugar of high-fructose corn syrup in the list of ingredients? Start reading labels, first in your home and then in the super market.
If it isn’t in your house, you won’t eat it.