Friday, August 17, 2007

Organizing for a Diet

This entry is all about organizing for a diet. I recently started the South Beach Diet, Phase One, so this entry will be mostly about the South Beach Diet, but a number of tips can be used for preparing for diets in general.

First, I believe that the preparation/organization phase of the diet is a key psychological step in preparing for weight loss. This process allows you to purge the negative influences in your life and allows you to set the foundation for new healthy habits.

1. Research: I chose the South Beach Diet after a few days of researching online about the diet and then going to the book store and looking at the book. (No, I didn’t end up purchasing it.) After being pretty honest with myself, I chose the diet that I thought would be right for me. I then looked up some recipes online and created a shopping list. I didn’t go so far as to create a meal plan, I wanted some flexibility to be able to eat what I’m craving from time to time. In this stage also a great idea is to talk to a medical professional about any health risks associated with dieting. Here too you can research gyms and exercise programs.

2. Purge: No I am not advocating bulimia. I am talking about preparing your home for a diet. That means getting rid of the temptations. This also doesn’t mean shoveling in 8 ice cream bars because you have to get rid of them before you start your diet. Dump out your juice and regular sodas, toss the snack food.

For me, I needed to get rid to the massive quantities of complex carbohydrates in my refrigerator and pantry. I kept anything that is complex to prepare. I can certainly use it at a later date, and these delayed gratification products are safe with me. The longer it takes to cook, the more time my self control has to kick in.

If you really guilty about wasting food like I do, here are a few options to avoid waste.

- Donate your can jars and boxes to a local food pantry
- Take the already opened baked goods on a walk to the park. Break up the bread, crunch up those chips, and feed them to ducks in the pond, squirrels or just scatter them on the side of the path, believe me the animals will find them no matter where you put them. Now you getting some exercise and feeding some hungry wildlife.

3. Restock: Now go shopping. Buy nothing that does not jive with the diet you have chosen, but be generous. (Eat before you go. Studies have shown people how shop on a full stomach make better purchasing decisions at the grocery store.) Take your big list, and make sure you have given yourself plenty of variety. Refill that empty refrigerator with the good stuff. Also, take the time right away to prepare some food so you have something to eat immediately.

Some easy ideas:
- Cut up celery sticks to dip in humus
- Hard boils eggs for a quick high protein breakfast
- Bean dip - layer vegetarian refried beans, salsa, low fat shredded cheese
- String cheese
- Turkey Jerky – I love the Trader Joe’s Terriaki Turkey Jerky
- Buy or cook I head of time some grilled chicken to throw on salads or dip in mustard
- Lite Egg Salad, lite Miracle Whip, mustard, egg white, green pepper

4. Arm Yourself: Take the cash out of your wallet. (If you can't, leave in only a large bill.) When I don’t have cash, I am less likely to stop by Starbucks and get an 800 calorie coffee drink, or pick up a candy bar from the gas station. Having disposable cash around is a huge temptation. Bring to work only what you are allowed to eat.

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