Forget Willpower

Posted on April 13, 2016 by Mary Patterson

Willpower.

Just say no.

Walk away.

Don’t buy it.

Mindfulness. 

Easy. That is all it takes to shed the pounds and eat healthy.

Do you want to scream anytime you hear someone say that? (or run away and cry or even punch something out of frustration). You are not alone. What if there was a better way? What we are going to share with you today may not be the answer to all your prayers, but it may help way more then you think. 

What if you created the environment that allowed you to have more willpower, mindfulness, and the ability to walk away?

Take a deep breathe. Come out of the pantry. Put the cookies down for second and listen up. You are not alone. It is hard. You are not weak. Maybe it is time to try something different. It is going to take some time and upfront commitment, but you can do it.

Ready!?

Today, you are going to start setting up your environment for success. Some of these may seem silly and small, but add them all up and they can make a big impact. Don't believe me? Well, research says so... So let’s get started.

Step into your kitchen. This is where all the magic is going to happen. What do you see? What is on the countertops? Can you find your countertops?

Step 1:
Clear the counter tops of all food except fruit. A little decluttering might help to. When clearing the countertops, you are also clearing the top of the cabinets, the island, and the top of the refrigerator. Where do you put it? Find a place in your pantry or a cabinet where it cannot be seen when just standing or walking into the kitchen. Don't have room in the cabinets or pantry? Then it is time to declutter. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't belong.

Step 2:
Open the food pantry or cabinets you just put all the food in. What is sitting eye level to you? Cookies? Chips? Cereal? If it is anything that you would grab and munch on mindlessly or even just have a habit of grabbing one handful too many, it must be moved. Move it to a higher shelf, an awkwardly low shelf or in the back of the shelf where it takes more effort to get to. I shifted our goldfish and veggie straws behind the nuts, popcorn kernels, extra jar of peanut butter, and snack bars, I would rather the kids (and I) grab. There are more steps that can be taken here, but start with this one.

*If you buy in bulk, I highly recommend, you only put in the kitchen cabinets what you want to use week by week. Find a closet or other storage area in the house to put the rest in and pull out week by week. You will not only save the extra calories, but it will help the budget too!

Step 3:
Open the cabinet that you store your plates. Move the large standard dinner plates to a higher shelf and keep the dessert plates on the easy to grab shelf. You will now use these plates for meals. You can also do the same with bowls.

Step 4:
It is time for the refrigerator. This may take more time to transition, but can also make the biggest difference especially because we hid those snacks off the counter tops into the back of the cabinets.

  1. Hit your local Target or Wal-Mart and purchase 1-2 variety boxes of clear glass Pyrex dishes. You can use another brand, just make sure they are clear, preferably glass and have lids. You will want all the different sizes.
  2. You will want to empty the refrigerator and so a cleaning of the shelves with some vinegar and water or our favorite natural cleaner Basic H.
  3. Throw away anything that has expired (and what was just a bad, unhealthy purchase).
  4. The shelf that is eye level will keep fruit and easy to grab protein all in the glass storage so you can see what is inside each one. After a grocery store trip, wash berries and grapes and put them in their containers. Protein options can be hard boiled eggs, pre-made egg muffins, greek yogurt, rolled up turkey sliced, cheese sticks, left over chicken from last night’s dinner, energy balls.
  5. The shelf right below put pre-cut veggies. We have a larger dish of chopped lettuce and then several smaller ones of salad toppers like cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots (Things you can grab to snack on or make a quick salad). The lettuce stays fresh longer and is ready in a pinch at the same time. Any extra veggies can go in the veggie draw. We make a point not to buy too much at once to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the refrigerator and go bad before we get to it.
  6. Shift milk to the refrigerator door and other drinks to one of the now unused veggie/fruit bins.

This takes less time then you think and allows flexibility in meal planning. You have all your healthy options visible and easy to put together adding variety and ease.

Give it a try and let us know what you think. If you have anything to add, please share it with us. One challenge may be getting the whole family to adapt to where things go, but try to be patient, they will get it and appreciate it in the long run. They may not even notice and just find themselves making healthier choices naturally!

 

Posted in Entrepreneur, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Mary Patterson, nutrition, Shaklee, weight loss, wellness program


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