You wake up and head to the fridge for breakfast. You open the door and find sad empty shelves with nothing to offer. You stop at Dunkin’ Donuts in a last minute act of desperation and easily rack up 400 calories on a bagel with cream cheese.
Your sad pantry also hinders your ability to pack healthy snacks and a healthy lunch for work. As 12 p.m. rolls around, you find your stomach growling, your head feeling light and your self-control low. You stop by the deli and pick up a sandwich and a bag of chips. 600 calories.
After a long day at work and commute home, you head to the kitchen to attempt to whip something up for dinner. Your mental capacity and low energy level gives you the perception that a home-cooked dinner feels impossible. You don’t have the ingredients you need to cook, so you call your local Chinese restaurant and order Sesame chicken and rice. 700 calories, gone.
The key to keeping on track with your nutrition goals is to make sure your fridge and pantry is always stocked with your favorite healthy foods. An empty kitchen can cause anxiety and last minute desperation in times of extreme hunger. I always make sure I stock my pantry monthly and stock my fridge weekly.
Things I keep in my pantry: taco seasoning kit, beans, Swedish hard bread (low carb and lasts forever!), low fat soups, chicken stock or bouillon, crackers, peanut butter, tomato sauce, tuna fish, rice/quinoa, whole wheat pasta, tomato paste, flax seed, olive oils, salad dressing mix, seasoning mix, healthy snacks like nuts and graham crackers, hot sauces
Things I keep in my fridge and freezer: pre-cooked protein (chicken, hamburgers, chicken patties, low fat hot dogs), low fat cheese, eggs, reduced sugar ketchup, a “green leaf” bowl of kale, lettuce, and asparagus, fruit, vegetables, cottage cheese packets, Greek yogurt, miracle whip, milk, post-workout protein drinks, low-fat chocolate milk, proteins to cook, marinades.
I made it a habit to shop on Sundays and prepare all of my food into individual sized packages so that they are ready to go and as convenient as unhealthy food options.
An unhappy pantry and fridge leads to an unhappy and ultimately unsuccessful dieter. Prioritize stocking up and preparing food to make sure you stay on track and don’t take the easy fast-food way out.