Life is full of tricks, and for someone with a sweet (or salty) tooth, every day feels like a bit of a prank.
Snack foods are everywhere.
From pharmacy and gas station counters, to Home Depot and Staples check out lines, it seems even when you’re not looking for a treat, the cravings are put right in front of you.
I highly encourage anyone who hasn’t seen Katie Couric’s documentary “Fed Up” to rent it on iTunes immediately. It’s a quick and blatant eye-opener.
The film basically calls out every major processed snack food company for manipulating Americans’ sugar addictions, knowing all too well that if you put a candy bar at eye level, and make someone stand in front of it, they’re going to want to eat it.
Unfortunately unless you’re Michele Obama (or Katie Couric) it’s going to be a tough battle to stand up against the Mr. Hershey’s and Mrs. Haribo’s of the world, BUT what you CAN DO is set your own home pantry up for success.
Out of sight, out of mind is a trick I recently began using, and regret not learning sooner!
It’s pretty simple: do not put snack foods (or any food really) that you don’t want to eat all day out on your counter.
Because if it is out, you are going to be munching on it… pretty much guaranteed!
Try this (so mean) test in the office for proof. Put a bowl of M&M’s on top of your desk and continue to re-fill it throughout the day. Since you’re in on the “joke” you probably can resist temptation, but see how many unknowing people come by and grab a handful (or four).
At the end of the day I’m guessing your co-workers will have zero idea they just consumed their whole day’s allotment of sugar, and am pretty sure you will be walking home with an empty “family size” bag of M&Ms.
It’s exactly the same for home life too. If there’s candy out, or even nuts, crackers, chips, or bread you WILL eat them. Maybe not all at once, but it’s pretty amazing how quickly counter top foods begin to disappear.
At my condo I’m in a bit of a pickle, as I do not currently have a pantry. All of our non-refrigerated foods go in a bucket on the counter, but last week I started putting all these non-perishables in the fridge.
When el fiancé came home looking for his pita chips yesterday, and I explained they were next to the hummus, he thought I had lost my mind a bit.
Which is fine.
I’d much rather be called crazy and eat a sensible serving of refrigerated chips than mindlessly eat the whole bag in two days.
To take this to the next level, rearrange your refrigerator, putting the less healthy foods in the back and progressively get healthier the closer you get to the front.
What you can’t see, or easily access, you won’t crave (or will certainly crave way less).
Our minds and bodies may play tricks on us, but we can beat them at their own game.
With one more victory strike and a remarkably clean countertop and re-organized refrigerator – just call me Martha Stewart.