Health.com
November 16, 2010


By Tina Haupert

Wow-wee! Last week was crazy—both mentally and physically! My husband and I finally moved into our new home!

We're officially homeowners, which, of course, is very exciting, but moving has had a surprising effect on my weight-loss efforts. In the past 15 months, my husband and I moved five times, so to say that it was a stressful week is an understatement!

I started packing the stuff in our apartment about a week in advance. I didn't want to pack and move all the food we had in our pantry and refrigerator, so I used it up. The closer moving day got, the less food there was in our kitchen.

At first, this worked out well. We used up the pantry staples and perishable foods. We also saved money and got creative in the kitchen with our meals. But as the days went on, less and less food was available at home. Eventually, we were forced to shop for random ingredients or eat takeout, which, as you can imagine, really takes a toll on your wallet and can pose a threat to your waistline too!

To save money and stick to my diet, I used these little tricks:

The Garbage Salad
I hate wasting food, so instead of letting the produce in our refrigerator spoil before we moved, I incorporated it into a Garbage Salad. Basically, I chopped up whatever vegetables and fruit I found in my fridge and threw them into a big bowl. Then I topped it with various ingredients from my pantry, including dried apricots, walnuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, wheat berries, and granola. My salad allowed me to use up the perishable food in my refrigerator as well as a number of my pantry staples, and it was a nutritious and low-calorie meal.

Salad Bar to Go
Speaking of salads, when the kitchen got really low on supplies, I made use of the salad bar at my local grocery store for a couple of meals. Since I know which items go into my salad as well as their size, it's instant portion control! Plus, salad bars are a great way to make an interesting meal. There's always something new and different to try, which was important to me when I felt like I was eating the same old meals (i.e., pizza and subs) during our transition between homes.
 
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Takeout Entrées for Two
Post-move, on more than one occasion, my husband and I ordered takeout. We were too busy unpacking to get ourselves to the grocery store, so having food delivered to our house was the most convenient option. Unfortunately, it wasn't the cheapest. In order to cut down the cost and excess calories and fat in our meals, we ordered an entrée (and sometimes an additional appetizer) to share. This way, we reduced the cost of our bill and neither of us consumed a supersize meal. One entrée was usually more than enough for the two of us!

Canned Meals
The pantry at our old apartment was stocked with canned foods. Instead of packing and moving the heavy cans, I used them as the base for a number of meals. One night, we ate canned soup for dinner, but I threw in some lentils and vegetables to get some extra nutrients. Most canned soups score low in the calorie department. Still, they don’t usually fill me up. The lentils and vegetables added some healthy bulk and staying power to my meal. One night we made tuna melts with low-fat Swiss cheese and tomato for dinner. To cut down on the calories and fat, I mixed half of the usual amount of mayo with relish and added a couple of shakes of paprika. The relish and paprika really jazzed up the meal for fewer calories!

Has moving ever affected your weight-loss efforts?

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