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I was inspired by a fellow Weight Watcher to write a blog post about things that are always on my shopping list. There are certain staples that Rich and I live on and, while we may not buy all of them every single week, they are always in our house.
The key to weight loss success and, more importantly, maintaining it is having options, a variety of them, and making them 90% healthy and 10% “unhealthy” (or 80% / 20%).You’re just not going to want to stick to a healthy lifestyle if you’re bored with the same old thing, day in and day out. That applies for food, exercise, whatever. It’s as simple as that.
Not all of our staples are healthy as in low-fat, but we’ve learned to exercise self-control… Most of the time. I give myself one or two “cheat” days a week where I let myself what I want, but still in moderation. I don’t mean fried food 24 hours a day, but I’ll have a heavy lunch and/or dinner and a lighter breakfast. Lately, I’ve used entire weekends as my cheat days, and after those two days, I start to get a craving for the healthy stuff again.
Whether you’re just starting your weight loss journey, trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, or wishing to maintain all the progress you’ve already made, hopefully you’ll find this post helpful. Here’s a list of some things we always have in our cupboard or fridge/freezer:
- Regular peanut butter
- Laughing Cow low-fat cheese spread
- 100-calorie, high fiber english muffins
- Apples and bananas
- Peaches, nectarines, blueberries (in season)
- Romaine lettuce
- Peppers (red, orange, green, or yellow) and mushrooms
- Baby carrots
- Low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
- Dark chocolate
- Eggs and egg beaters
- Greek Yogurt
- Turkey pepperoni
You can mix and match a lot of these things to make several healthy meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner. I’ll chop a bunch of peppers and mushrooms and throw them in some egg beaters with cheese for a breakfast omelet. For a snack, I’ll have a greek yogurt with some blueberries and some honey if it’s around, or I’ll have hummus with baby carrots. For lunch or dinner, sometimes I’ll top an english muffin with pizza/pasta sauce and some cheese and turkey pepperoni for a mini pizza. These are all low PointsPlus options for WeightWatchers too.
You’ll have a lot of quick, healthy options as long as you keep your pantry and fridge stocked with the essentials. Being busy doesn’t have to be an excuse for a free-for-all. Sometimes life does get in the way; you get busy and you have to be somewhere in 30 minutes, but it’s not too time consuming to throw a bunch of blueberries or almonds in a snack bag or an apple in your purse of backpack for the trip.
Living a healthy lifestyle needs to be three things: convenient, flexible, and interesting. You have to have options available, a variety of good and bad ones (90:10 or 80:20 is my rule), and they have to be appealing to you.
You have to be willing to live it and willing to exercise your will power, but none of that will be any good if it’s boring.