This Sleekgeek Kitchen Makeover is part of an exciting upcoming series by Sleekgeek to help everyday people improve their healthy eating habits. Stay tuned for the full series!
At Sleekgeek, we strongly believe in optimising your environment and building healthy habits to create long-term permanent change.
There is a lot of advice and “fitspiration” out there about things like willpower, motivation, commitment, sacrifice, and so on.
While we think that having a winning attitude and putting in good olf fashioned hard work is definitely a key part of being successful, trying to fight your way to the top in an environment that is working against you is like swimming upstream.
The most important part of The Sleekgeek Food List is that you use it to shape your environment for the better and set yourself up for success.
More often than not, your environment plays a far more important role in your success than things like willpower or motivation.
Those things do matter, especially in key moments…
But, it is your environment affecting you every minute of every day that adds up, in the long run, to make achieving your goals that much harder or easier.
At Sleekgeek, we have found that the foods you choose to keep around you and your loved ones at home, at work, at school, and at social events are one of the biggest environmental factors that are within your control.
- If you keep more junk food around, you are more likely to eat it.
- If you keep more healthy food around, you are more likely to eat it.
This is not about willpower or motivation or genetics or the perfect diet. It’s about your environment and whether it sets you up for success or failure.
Design Your Environment
Two key steps in this process when it comes to food, are:
- Stock Up: Keep more healthy and nutritious foods around (such as those on The Sleekgeek Food List). Make sure they are visible, easily accessible, and convenient to eat at all times.
- Clean Out: Keep less (or none) unhealthy and highly processed foods around. Make sure they are less visible, harder to access, and less convenient to eat.
Learn from past failures by identifying which situations you “gave in” to unhealthy food because you did not have healthy food on hand.
Plan ahead for upcoming challenges that you might face (meetings, traveling, short on time, etc) and stock up or prep accordingly.
Traffic Light System
One of the easiest ways to do a stock up and clean out “kitchen makeover” is to use this “traffic light” system to help you figure out which foods to keep around and which to get rid of.
- Green Light foods: Food that make you feel good. Food that you can eat normally and slowly, without ending up stuffed or overfull. Food that you don’t impulse eat or frequently crave. Food that you know is healthy for you and helps you achieve your goals. Usually things like fruits, vegetables, protein, etc. Green means “go for it”. Stock up on these, make them visible, accessible, and convenient.
- Yellow Light foods: Food that is sometimes OK, sometimes not. Food that you can only eat a little bit of. Or food that you can only eat when out at a restaurant with other people, but not at home alone. Or food that you can only have once in a while, but not every day. Could be healthy, or unhealthy. It’s more about how it fits into your lifestyle and goals. Yellow means “slow down” or “approach with caution”. If you do keep these foods around, consider only keeping small portions and don’t make them too easy to eat.
- Red Light foods: Food that is just bad news for you. Food that makes you feel sick, or triggers you to eat too much, or you find yourself impulsively eating / craving it. Food that you know is a flat out unhealthy choice. Red means “stop” or “no go”. Ideally, don’t keep any of these foods in your house. If you do, make them less visible, inaccessible, and less convenient to eat. Keep in small portions, ideally no more than one moderate serving so that you can’t overeat.
Keep in mind that these foods can be different for different people.
Here at Sleekgeek HQ, Eric has nuts on his Red Light Foods List because he finds them too easy to overeat, Elan has certain veggies on his Red Light Foods List because some of them give him digestive issues, and Meg has many different types of meat on her Red Light Foods List because she was vegan until recently and too much meat makes her feel unwell.