It’s on the counter. You’re not in the kitchen but you know it’s there. The image of a sheet pan and the delicious treat inside has been burned into your mind. All that is between you and those chocolaty morsels is a short walk and a thin layer of plastic wrap. You start to imagine how satisfying it would be to bite into a sweet, gooey brownie…again. It’s a battle of willpower between you and a second helping and you’re losing.
Too often we blame our poor choices on a lack of willpower. A better solution may be to simply get rid of the temptation. This won’t be possible in all circumstances and may take some creativity if not everyone in the house is as gung ho as you. But with a little creativity and planning, you can get the brownies out of the kitchen! Here are a few solutions to get you started:
- Make and buy less: Food should be enjoyed. Don’t be afraid to indulge, just do so in appropriate servings and on special occasions. Making half (even quarter) recipes or buying smaller packaged in the grocery store can help.
- Food waste is bad but sometimes the lesser evil: Given the choice between wasting food and force-feeding junk food to friends, family, or myself, I say throw it away.
- Lay down the law: Make rules about what will and won’t be available in the house. Make sure everyone follows them. They’ll be healthier for it.
- Out of sight: Sometimes simply leaving the food hidden in a cupboard, rather than a constant reminder on the counter, is enough to curb the snacking.
- Take it up a notch: Cupboard not enough? Consider an inconvenient storage location, such as a high shelf that requires the stepstool from the garage to reach.
- Break out the big guns: Desperate times call for desperate measures. Swap out the cookie jar for a lock box or put a pad lock on the snack drawer. Forbid anyone from telling you the combination or granting you access.
Once you’ve removed the temptation, the next step is to replace it with a healthy alternative. Sometimes we go for the brownie simply because there’re no fresh berries to curb our sweet craving instead. By minimizing unhealthy snacks and increasing nutritious options, eating healthy can be as easy as pie…a healthy pie.