The first step to developing self-control is admitting that you have none (or at least little at certain times of the day)! I know, it sounds pessimistic, but let me explain. You may stay on track with your diet all week, you’re setting that alarm clock early to get up and jog, you’re bringing your jug of water everywhere, but in that little moment of weakness, say after an emotionally taxing day, it can be very hard to resist one of those pastries in your pantry. And then you feel like all your hard work has gone to waste. Stop these kinds of goal-killers at the source and just don’t buy the stuff. This way, you exhibit self-control when you can by grocery shopping when you feel strong, confident and healthy and willing to leave unhealthy items out of the cart. And when you are at home, feeling weak and craving that chocolate cupcake, luckily the stronger side of you prevented this indulgence from happening.
Here are 5 favorite foods that you’ll be glad NOT to have around in moments of weakness:
1. White Bread—not only can this stuff cause constipation and leave you feeling bloated, it offers absolutely no nutritional value. Buy whole grain bread instead—the fiber will keep you full and clean you out.
2. Instant Pasta Dishes—Items like Mac & Cheese or easy rice dishes with flavor packages can have up to 1000 mg of sodium, and are filled with empty carbs! Make your own from scratch with whole wheat pasta or brown rice, and flavor to taste.
3. Non-Organic Peanut Butter— Let’s face it, sometimes you just can’t help yourself and you sit with your back against the fridge, peanut butter jar in hand, spooning heaping mouthfuls in to your mouth, spoon after spoon after spoon having no idea that you just consumed 50 grams of fat. Peanut butter has about 16 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons as it is. So don’t add insult to injury with extra sugar and salts, not to mention the partially hydrogentated oils (yuck!) like lots of popular peanut butters have. If you’ve gotta have some buttery spread in your house, opt for organic nut butters or no-salt peanut butter instead. Even better: Almond Butter! It’s better for you, has just as much protein, plus monounsaturated fats which are good for heart health and help control blood sugar levels, and still super tasty and just as spreadable. Another great non-nut alternative? Sunflower Seed Butter! Sun-butter is perfect for kids with nut allergies.
4. Cookies, Cupcakes, Muffins, Pastries and other Refined White Flour Sweets—You’ve probably formed an addiction to the stuff since your mom baked cookies with it when you were little. But refined gluten sticks to your intestines, causing constipation and bloat. And, late at night, when standing in the middle of your kitchen “looking” for something to nosh on because your bored, that weakness to down the entire chocolate cake can take over and suddenly- bye bye diet for the day. (I’ve done it). Luckily, there are a ton of flour alternatives like whole wheat, rice, spelt and gluten-free packages.
5. Velveeta Cheese—This soft, oh-so-meltable item packs 410 mg of sodium per serving. That’s about ¼ of your daily-recommended sodium intake! Not to mention, humans can better digest goat’s or sheep cheese best, so opt for organic cheese if you need to keep the stuff around.