Leyla Weighs In: Out of sight, out of mind—The case for purging your pantry


| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

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A big obstacle to maintaining your diet is all the goodies available—often, right in your own kitchen. When that box of cookies or candy bar is calling you from the cupboard, it can be difficult to resist. For many, not having those treats around or at least not within view is enough to turn down the dial on temptation, leaving far less need for distraction. I’m always advising clients to first clean out the cupboards and larder before embarking on a new eating program. This little chore can ensure the best chance for diet compliance and weight loss success.

If you live alone, this is easy enough to do. However, if there are other family members living with you, such as your grown children and spouse who may be opposed to the great pantry clean-out, you have to negotiate. A good strategy is to place all sweets and treats in a particular cupboard that you designate as off-limits to you. In other words, any time you’re in the kitchen you must deliberately ignore that cupboard. Put your blinders on. If temptation is too great, employ your inner Yogi (a topic for a future newsletter!). Needless to say, your family should be supportive of your dieting efforts and make sure that their treats aren’t left lying around in full view. 

And by NO MEANS should you be grocery shopping for those unhealthy foods on behalf of your family members. Remember, your teenagers and spouse can do their own treat shopping. Better yet, they can keep it outside altogether by buying just a single serving when cravings strike.

But don’t wait until you change your diet to clean out your pantry. Purging your cupboards regularly will keep you from using old, expired goods which should never be used, safeguarding your family from possible mold, bacteria and other food-borne pathogens. 

To your health! 

Leyla Muedin, MS, RD, CDN 


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