Larrian Gillespie, MD, in her book “The Goddess Diet,” suggests shifting the groceries in your home to retrain your brain to crave healthy -- not junk -- food.
Since I’ll try anything, this weekend I am going to take her advice. Hey: It’s fall, and time for me to clean out my pantry and fridge.
Start at the top shelf of the fridge, and stock it with healthy and low-cal beverages: skim milk, 100% fruit and veggie juices (no sugar added) and calorie-free soft drinks. Why? Says Dr. Gillespie, “Staying well hydrated naturally helps curb your appetite." Use these slimming thirst-quenchers to cut just two sugary sodas out of your daily diet and University of Minnesota researchers say you can shed up to 33 pounds this year.
Second shelf is the place for fruit and veggies. Weird huh? What about those drawers? (More about those later.) Dr. Gillespie suggests: “For a double duty benefit, keep ready-to-eat, pre-cut pieces right at the front, and you’ll double your produce intake.”
Third shelf is for protein: hard-boiled eggs, precooked, skinless lean meats, nuts and reduced-fat dairy (such as yogurt and cheese). Women who add at least two ounces of protein to every meal eat 31 percent fewer calories daily, say Yale University researchers. Protein stimulates the intestines to release cholecystokinin, a hormone that travels to the brain and shuts down hunger pangs.
And about those crispers: Stash calorie-laden food, like leftover fast food and sweet treats. Plus, tucking diet-busting temptations out of sight can cut snacking by more than half, according to Cornell University studies.
Refrigerator door: Fill this space with spicy mustards, hot sauces, salsas, vinegars, marinades, flavored oils and zesty dressings. Why? Jazzing up the flavor of meals helps people feel genuinely full on 200 fewer calories daily, and can help them shed up to 18 pounds per year.
Freezer: Fill it with lots of healthy conveniences to make dinner prep easier: individually-wrapped fish fillets, lean chicken breasts and frozen mixed veggies, and low-cal, guilt-free treats, like fruit bars and chilled berries for smoothies.
Cupboards: Keep your tallest, most narrow glasses and smaller salad plate upfront at eye level; larger items are stored higher. You’ll ultimately drink and eat less.
The pantry: Those diet-sabotaging chips and snacks go in opaque containers, stored on the highest shelf.
Counter: Add a radio. Soothing tunes while preparing and eating dinner will help calm stress. According to a Johns Hopkins study, people who listened to relaxing music ate 40 percent less food without even realizing it.