Elite Trainer, Andy Vincent, reveals the larder ever-presents that will help to keep your nutrition plan on course
There’s a fundamental law of human behaviour towards food. If a food is in your possession, or located in your residence, you will eventually eat it. Unless, of course, it’s the wilted bag of spinach at the back of your fridge that you really need to throw away.
It’s the natural reaction to hating waste. Therefore, if you want to be healthy and get lean, it helps to remove the foods that aren’t part of your eating program and replace them with a variety of better, balanced, food plan-friendly choices. Your willpower and discipline will be tested enough at social events and at lunch meetings – if you’re to have any chance of success, then creating a temptation-free space at home will help.
Not only that, if your home isn’t well-stocked then, when hunger inevitably strikes, reaching for the takeaway menu becomes all too easy. A little preparation goes a long way to avoiding the seduction of sweet treats.
So, I want to give you my top five purchases that, to my mind, should be mainstays on every healthy persons shopping list. Not only that, I’ve also listed the three things I’d suggest you throw out.
This isn’t an extensive list, and there are plenty more suggestions I could make, but in the name of practicality and making this goal achievable here are the non-negotiables to buy in and chuck out.
Top 5 foods to always have in your kitchen:
- Beans and legumes – These are a great source or protein and slow release carbohydrate to fuel both training and recovery. What I like especially is that you can get them dried, canned or in microwavable pouches so they keep. They can be a quickly and easily added to a casserole, salad, soup, curry or pretty much any dish that’ll keep you feeling fuller for longer, curbing your snack cravings.
- Eggs – Eggs are the simplest and longest lasting protein source to keep in your kitchen – more so than chicken breasts or steak, which either go off or need to be frozen. No matter how you like yours, they are quick and easy to cook. I always have breakfast at home and five out of seven days it will include eggs.
- Frozen berries and veggies – Obviously fresh is best, but shelf life can become an issue when you start unexpectedly losing evenings to late nights at the office. Remember the spinach? So I like to have frozen berries and veggies at home as back up. They’re excellent and simple for side dishes and can be added to smoothies too for extra vitamins. Personally, I’m not great at eating greens with every meal so I like to have a green smoothie when at home.
- Spice and herb rack (well stocked) – Get creative with spices and herbs and steer clear of any pre made dressing or sauces loaded with fat and sugar. Not only will you add flavour to you (sometimes boring) nutrition plan meals, but some spices comes with relatively potent metabolism-boosting and health-enhancing properties worth taking advantage of. It’ll only take a couple of shakes.
- Greek yogurt – If you’re like me, your nutrition plan comes under threat most acutely around dessert time. Yogurt and berries, seeds, dried fruit etc area all a nice way to add a bit of protein, as well as a hit of sweetness, that’ll will help quell the desire to go all out on dessert.
Top 3 foods to throw out:
- Sugary drinks – Calories come in what you drink, not just what you eat. If you have a weightloss goal they can be easily scuppered by the calories hidden in fruit juice and soda. Try adding cucumber, lemon & lime or mint to water and keeping it in your fridge for a refreshing, calorie-free alternative.
- Anything low-fat – Don’t try and kid yourself that these are healthier options. They often have the fat replaced with sugar and can be full of additives. It’s better to eat real food where you know what is in the product and you don’t have to discern what all the weird names on the ingredients list mean. Whole foods are better.
- Whatever your food weakness is – I for one love chocolate, so I very rarely have it in the house. I know what my willpower is like so it’s safer to keep healthier treats in the cupboard. I always have chocolate flavoured Oatly drink (chocolate milk made from oats) in the fridge so I can get my chocolate fix without the calories and sugar. Be honest with yourself and nutrition plan success will come far easier.