By: Taylor Empey | CFT, SFN, SET, Elite Trainer Level I | Iron Allies Fitness | 3844 S. 300 E. Salt Lake City, UT 84115 | 801-263-5336 | email@example.com | ironalliesfitness.com
Good morning Allies in fitness!!!
Okay, so this is one of the primary culprits that will make or break your goals and whether you see the results you are looking for…and this culprit lives in your home.
How you set up and organize your KITCHEN (and more importantly what you allow in your kitchen) will be the primary determining factor to whether you see success with your fitness goals or not.
A kitchen stocked with the makings for healthy meals and snacks will keep you on track, even when late-night cravings strike. On the flip side, a kitchen filled with unhealthy munchies, treats, processed foods, and ‘food for the kids’ will derail your fat loss efforts EVERY…SINGLE…TIME.
So what should your cupboards hold and what should be off limits and straight up removed from your kitchen altogether?
We here at Iron Allies Fitness have designed this self-guided kitchen raid to help you sort out the good from the bad.
Go ahead, grab a garbage bag, print out the list below, and then head to the kitchen.
Let’s start with the fridge, the heart of your kitchen. If you find something in your fridge that is on the “Dump this list,” then you know what you have to do. Get that garbage bag ready…and dump it or give it away.
Beverages with high fructose corn syrup or sugar. Drinking calories is one of the quickest ways to gain weight, so quickly rid your fridge of any beverage that lists HFCS or sugar on the ingredient list.
Water. It is a well known fact that most people are partially dehydrated, a condition that is harmful to your health and wreaks havoc on your weight loss efforts. Keep plenty of cold water on hand for proper hydration. And look, we know water can get boring so you can also replace it with lemon water, sparkling water with natural flavor (no sugar or artificial sweetener) or fruit to make your own naturally squeezed juice.
Rich dairy products. I know that cream cheese tastes amazing, but fat-filled dairy products are extremely high in calories and should not reside in your fridge. Eliminate high-fat cheese, milk and yogurt from your kitchen.
Low fat cottage cheese, plain greek yogurt, and unsweetened almond or coconut milk. These are healthier dairy alternatives that have high amounts of lean protein, low sugar, and the almond milk is a great alternative to processed cows milk which even the skim version has high sugar.
Excess fatty meats. Don’t get me wrong, protein is important and lean animal meats are great way to hit your protein goals, but you need to make sure you aren’t eating excessively fatty meats or animal protein sources. I may tell you that chicken is a great source of protein, but if you take that as a license to eat fried chicken everyday then the benefit of the protein will be lost in all the extra fat calories.
Lean meats. Skinless chicken breast, lean ground turkey or lean ground beef (95% lean), salmon, the leanest cuts of steak, whole omega 3 eggs, or egg whites, and white fish – there are numerous choices when it comes to lean meats.
Fruit-flavored yogurt. I hate to break this to you, but that cute individually packaged yogurt is going to do more harm to your waistline than you think. More than 50% of the calories in fruit-flavored yogurt come from sugar. Check out the ingredient list and you likely find both high fructose corn syrup AND sugar. Also something to consider with this is that there are ‘low cal,’ ‘lite,’ or ‘sugar free’ yogurts, but these often are loaded with chemically enhanced artificial sweeteners and calorie free sugar sources. Pretty much if it has more than 9g of sugar per serving, or has any other sweetener besides natural unadulterated stevia, you shouldn’t eat it.
Plain low-fat yogurt, Greek yogurt, or low-fat cottage cheese. If you love yogurt, then get the low-fat plain version. You can even chop up some fresh fruit and stir it in. Another option is to have a scoop of low-fat cottage cheese with chopped fruit on top.
Next let’s take a look into your freezer. Anyone who has walked the freezer aisles at the store knows how plentiful frozen temptations are. How does your freezer measure up?
Ice cream. We may as well get this one over with. Hiding a gallon or two (or even a pint) of your favorite ice cream “for a rainy day” is NOT a good idea. Save yourself from that temptation and don’t buy ice cream.
High protein ice cream alternatives. By now I am sure you have heard of brands like Halo Top ice cream and other similar brands. These brands are great alternative to help curb your sweet tooth and keep the fat and sugar down as compared to regular ice creams; and they still taste good!
If you want to go with the healthier option though, try frozen fruit. When your sweet tooth starts acting up, throw an assortment of frozen fruit into the blender and whip up a healthy fiber-filled smoothie. One of my favorites is also frozen grapes! Give it a try!
Frozen Pizza. This is another one of those items that is just too tempting to keep around. Why would you bother to make a healthy dinner when a frozen pizza is calling your name? Ban frozen pizza from your home and watch as your waist starts to shrink.
Turkey or Veggie Patties. For quick dinners keep your freezer filled with lean turkey patties and veggie patties. Serve on a bed of brown rice or on a whole grain bun or even lettuce wrapped.
TV Dinners. I doubt that you need me to go into too much detail on this one. The next time that you are tempted to buy a pre-packaged frozen meal, please turn the package over and read the nutritional facts. You will be shocked by the staggering number of calories, fat, sugar, excess sodium, processed ingredients with names you can’t pronounce and other less-than-healthy ingredients.
Home-made Portioned Meals. Spend some time on the weekends to cook up healthy meals, and then freeze them in portioned containers. Then throughout the week you simply need to reheat and enjoy.
Or try what we have been doing lately. Order from Freshly Meals! They have gluten free, low calorie, and low carbohydrate healthy meal options, delivered straight to your door in an ice box, and ready to eat. Just throw them in the microwave if you want one right away or put them in the freezer to save for later.
Frozen Breakfast Food. French toast, waffles and pancakes are popular items in the freezer aisle. Don’t fall for the pretty photos and tasty-sounding names. These items are highly processed and contain loads of unnecessary processed carbs and sugar.
Sprouted Whole Grain Bread and English Muffins. Ezekiel and Dave’s Killer Bread are great brands to start with. It is just as easy to throw a slice of sprouted, whole grain bread into the toaster as it is a frozen waffle. Spread it with some natural peanut butter, coconut oil or pair it with a piece of fruit. Now that’s a much healthier breakfast!
Last, but not least, we come to your pantry. This may be the most painful part of your kitchen raid, since most junk food ends up here. So take a moment to give yourself a pep talk before grabbing that garbage bag and opening your pantry.
Sugar-filled cereal. If sugar or high fructose corn syrup are listed as ingredients on your cereal box, it’s got to go. Sugar-filled cereal is basically another form of junk food, and will only add inches to your waist.
Whole Grain Oats. And remember that oats and oatmeal are very different. There is a huge difference between instant, sugar-filled oatmeal and whole grain oats. Go with the Whole rolled or steel cut oats.
Refined/White Bread/Rice/Pasta. These highly processed products promote weight gain and a plethora of other health problems. Do not buy “white” bread, rice or pasta – especially if you want to lose weight.
Whole Grain Bread/Rice/Pasta. Whole grain is the best choice you can make. It is filled with healthy fiber, and is less likely to contain harmful, waist-expanding ingredients.
Just remember that when it comes to these items they are still processed and still calorie and carb dense so you need to be very mindful of how much you eat per serving. Usually 1 serving of pasta is 2oz…who honestly only eats 2oz of pasta? So just be careful with portions.
Chips/Crackers. While refined chips and crackers are fun to munch on, the extra calories will quickly add up. Do yourself a favor by not allowing these into your pantry.
Almonds or other healthy nuts. The key to making this snack a winner is to practice portion control. Place a handful of almonds into individual bags for pre-portioned snacks. and you can even make it a little tastier by coating them with coconut oil and dashing some cocoa powder on them. Yum!
Packaged Sweets. I don’t really have to explain this one, do I? Cookies and cakes and candies shouldn’t be a regular part of your diet, so keep them out of your house. It’s one thing to enjoy a dessert once in a while, it is quite another to routinely eat processed sweets at home.
Fresh berries or fruit. When you want to munch on something sweet, turn to what nature gave us to curb this craving…fruit! A fresh cup of strawberries or an apple will help satisfy the sweet tooth and not do damage to your waistline.
That completes your self-guided kitchen raid! I encourage you to raid your kitchen every couple of months as a way of keeping yourself on track. Remember, what you allow in your kitchen is what will go in your mouth and if you have a fat loss goal or want to get leaner you need to practice discipline in this area and set yourself up for success. Talk with your family members about the healthy changes that you’re making, and try to get everyone’s support.
You know that weight loss comes as a result of healthy eating AND consistent, challenging workouts as well so email, text or call us today and we will let you come try us out for some awesome, effective and fun workouts!
Click here to schedule your first free week of classes!
Talk to you soon!
– Team Iron Allies Fitness
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