The best way to stop temptation is to nip it before it even starts—by removing tempting foods from your refrigerator and relegating them to the garbage. You don’t need a constant temptation every time you open the refrigerator door.
Let the purge begin!
1. Soft drinks – Harvard University reports that the average American soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. Imagine adding that much sugar to iced tea! Ancestral humans lived just fine with nothing more than water to drink, and so can we. Supplement with herbal teas.
2. Diet soda –Before you try to readjust your taste buds to diet soda, it’s best to understand what you’re replacing all that sugar with—aspartame (that’s the little blue package). Aspartame leads the pack in complaints registered with the FDA regarding adverse reactions to a food ingredient. According to a paper written by University of Penn faculty members, “One of its metabolites, methanol, has been shown to further metabolize into formaldehyde and formic acid.”
3. Fruit juice – Fruit juices are loaded with sugar, some of it from the actual fruit content, but some of it added for extra “flavor.” Many “fruit juices” actually contains minimal juice from fruits. When the craving hits, eat the whole fruit and benefit from the added fiber and reduced sugar content.
4. Salad dressings – High in sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, and unpronounceable flavor enhancers, you can live without these. Make your own healthy vinaigrette with one part oil to three parts vinegar. Add herbs and spices and even a little mustard.
5. Jams, jellies and other sweet condiments – Sweet is the operative word here. All of condiments are high in sugar. Other sweet condiments would include ketchup, barbecue sauce, etc. If sugar is one of the first ingredients, out it goes.
6. Mayo and other high-fat condiments – Until you reach your target weight, learn to enjoy the flavor of foods without masking it with mayo and other high-fat condiments. This will save you a lot of fat grams, savings you can apply toward healthier fats.
7. Cheese “products” – if it isn’t real cheese, toss is. That includes American cheese and Velveeta and a whole host of other fake cheeses. While you’re at it, toss the brie. Yes, it’s delicious, but it’s about 60 percent butter fat. If you want to eat cheese, stick to hard, aged cheeses and limit yourself to an ounce or two a day.
8. Milk, etc. – Say buh-bye to milk, cream and half ‘n’ half. As an adult, you don’t need dairy beverages. Try drinking your coffee black until you reach your goal. Replace heavy cream sauces (oh-so-70s and 80s) with reductions and drizzles. Use an immersion blender to puree ingredients in soups to make them creamy.
9. Peanut butter – This is going to shock some of you, but peanuts are not true nuts; they are legumes, more closely related to peas, lentils and other beans. The Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio in peanuts is high (bad), and they contain more starch than nuts. All are high in fats, but natural nut butters contain a better Omega 6-3 ratio, without all the carbs, and serve as a quality substitute. As a bonus, studies have shown that even though nuts are high in fat, people who include nuts in their diet are statistically slimmer than those who don’t.
10.Pastries and breads – Pastries are out for everyone; all those nutrient-free calories are best saved for foods that feed the body as well as the soul. Those on carb-restricted diets need to eliminate bread until their weight is under control.
Now that you’ve purged your fridge, you should have the sense of a fresh start. Once you approach your optimal weight, you can begin to add some of these items back into your diet in moderation. Until that time, replace, substitute and cultivate new tastes. Embrace the change…