How to prep like a pro to watch those ki­los go

(AND WATCH THOSE KI­LOS GO)

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - February Contents -

Plan­ning to lose weight for real this new year? Here’s how to set your­self up for suc­cess

the real se­cret to get­ting your pre-baby fig­ure back? (Yeah, we know. It’s been 27 years, what­evs!) It’s not run­ning your­self ragged at the gym and it’s not starv­ing your­self stupid. Suc­cess­ful weight loss hap­pens when you plan and pre­pare for it. From your fridge to your state of mind, plan­ning helps you stay the course, es­pe­cially on the days you feel like quit­ting or tak­ing the easy way out. It doesn’t mat­ter whether you’re eat­ing ‘clean’, fol­low­ing a na­tional weight-loss pro­gram or do­ing the 5 Bite Diet (yes, it’s a thing!), fly­ing by the seat of your pants won’t get you the results you want.

kitchen prep

Los­ing weight is a men­tal bat­tle of wills – with your­self. There’s temp­ta­tion ev­ery­where and, when you’re tired and hun­gry, it’s easy to say ‘bug­ger it’ and grab what­ever’s not nailed down.

This is why prac­ti­cal prep is so im­por­tant – do the ground­work while your re­solve is strong and you’ll be so happy you did. You can opt for the fast-food fix (that you’ll re­gret) or that health­ful bowl of soup you al­ready whipped up.

CLEAN HOUSE

Go through your fridge, freezer and pantry and re­move what­ever trips you up. If you know it’s your per­sonal down­fall, get it gone. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it. Boom! Your kitchen is the busi­ness end of op­er­a­tions, so make it work for you.

MUST-HAVES

• Good cut­ting/chop­ping boards • Sharp knives • Mea­sur­ing cups/spoons • Wooden spoons/spat­u­las • Mix­ing bowls

• Pots, pans, well-sea­soned cast iron skil­let

• Stor­age con­tain­ers (for your make-ahead meals and left­overs)

• Im­mer­sion blender (for turn­ing soups into creamy bowls of de­light)

• Food scale (eye­balling is great in the­ory, but…)

• Bak­ing pa­per or sil­i­cone bak­ing mat (for easy clean-up af­ter roast­ing trays of divine ve­g­ies)

• Blender (for whip­ping up healthy smooth­ies in a flash)

• Slow cooker (for ‘ready when you walk in the door’ din­ners)

• Bar­be­cue/gas grill (for bulk cook­ing fab­u­lous meats and ve­g­ies to have on hand all week)

NICE-TO-HAVES

• Vegie spi­raliser (‘zoo­dles’ – zuc­chini noo­dles – are the new fet­tuc­cine!) • Dig­i­tal pres­sure cooker • Food pro­ces­sor • Vac­uum food sealer • Elec­tric wok

PANTRY STA­PLES

• Herbs and spices • Chicken/beef/vegie stock • Vine­gar (white/ap­ple cider/ red wine/bal­samic) • Olive/av­o­cado oil

• Tins of toma­toes/tomato paste • Al­mond/co­conut/ whole­wheat flour • Quinoa/whole­wheat pasta/rice • Whole­grain bread/crack­ers • Al­mond/cashew/peanut but­ter • Tins of tuna, corn, baked beans, beet­root

• Canned co­conut milk • Nuts/pret­zels/ fresh pop­corn ker­nels

• Qual­ity dark choco­late

FRIDGE/ FREEZER ES­SEN­TIALS

• Eggs • But­ter/cheese • Deli ham/turkey • Plain Greek yo­ghurt • Pick­les/olives

• Milk or dairy-free equiv­a­lent • Bar­be­cue chicken • Pork loin/chops • Beef/chicken/ turkey mince

• Fresh or frozen chicken thighs/breasts • Light soy sauce • Fresh ve­g­ies/salad • Mayo/dress­ing/mus­tard • Frozen fruits and ve­g­ies • Salmon/snap­per/ bream/trout

YOUR SHOP­PING LIST

Be in­ten­tional. Work out a weekly menu that cov­ers brekky, lunch, din­ner, snacks and drinks, tak­ing into ac­count your way of eat­ing. This will also save you money on in­dis­crim­i­nate im­pulse buys. (Never shop hun­gry!)

MAKE-AHEAD MEALS

An af­ter­noon of meal prep will save your butt time and again. Make por­tion-con­trolled, fridge­and freezer-friendly meals. Soups and stews lend them­selves perfectly to this and there’s a mil­lion vari­a­tions on a theme. Other sug­ges­tions in­clude lasagne, meat­balls, burger pat­ties and grilled or bar­be­cued chicken breasts you can eat and then re­pur­pose dur­ing the week into sal­ads, tacos and stir-fries.

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