While cleaning out a broken down fridge of its soggy contents on a hot, humid afternoon recently, I came to an embarrassing realization: That I was a chronic food hoarder.

Standing there, surrounded by jars of sauces and jams, packets of seasoning, bags of frozen fruit and bars of chocolate—all of which had expired—it dawned on me that it would be irresponsible of me to not make some significant changes to my food shopping habits.

This process of revamping the contents of my fridge left me feeling so weighed down, physically and emotionally, by things—things I never used and didn’t want, but repeatedly put off getting rid of. So I decided to start moving forward with less, starting with a smaller fridge, which would would encourage me to waste less food.

Little did I know that it would trigger in me a desire to jump head first into a major clean-out project that would encompass every other area of my life.

My new mantra? Simplify, simplify, simplify, and it’s been working wonders for me.

Are you craving to simplify your diet and life, and get happier in the process? Here are my top 5 ways to get started:

1. Plan your meals.

At the root of my food hoarding and resulting wastage was this: impulsive food shopping.

I’d always planned my meals…in my head, but it was time to make it official.

I’ve since started refining my meal preparation process by actually writing down what I want to eat on a weekly meal planner and shopping only for the ingredients I need, all of which go onto a list.

Having this list also gives me permission to ignore the voice in my head that says, “You know what else would be sooo good to make this week?”. Because 99.9 percent of the time, I never end up making that ‘by the way’ thing that sounded so good on the spur of the moment. If you want any more information on diet plans and how they can help you, click on – DigitalHealthPost.com.

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2. Eat only foods you love.

I’ve never been a fan of dieting—crash, Atkins, Paleo, detox, Military, whatever.

As far as I’m concerned, life’s way too short to spend it eating foods you hate, and way too precious to not spend it eating the foods you love.

When it comes to eating to be well, I live by one simple rule: eat foods that make you look forward to your meals and eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods in healthy, nourishing portions.

Life is complicated enough—you don’t need someone else’s permission to eat that cupcake, and you certainly don’t need to make it more frustrating with a restrictive diet plan you’re not likely to (and shouldn’t) stick with.

3. De-clutter your all your spaces.

Thrilled with how much lighter and free I felt from cleaning out my fridge, I decided to take my new-found, clutter-busting ninja skills beyond the kitchen.

Out went clothes, books, shoes, bags and just about anything I hadn’t used for years from my wardrobe, home office, storage room and garden to the recycling center or into the trash.

The result? I suddenly had more space physically and emotionally to focus on the things and tasks that mattered the most to me.

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4. Learn how to say “no.”

One of the quickest ways to sap energy from the core of your being is to be a people pleaser. This means saying “yes”, when you actually mean “no.”

You know what I mean: That party you’re feeling pressured to attend out of guilt and obligation, the favor you don’t want to agree to but feel like you should, the ginormous (and extremely heavy) bottles of shower gel your colleague wants you to get her on your trip to London (No. Why? And, true story).

The antidote to all this internal conflict: Just say “no.”

Ever since I started doing this, I’ve not only freed up more time to do the things that I really want to do, but to also say “yes” only when I truly mean it.

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5. When in doubt, agree only when you mean “yes!”

The next time you find yourself in a situation that you’re not feeling excited about or spending more time than necessary doubting something, it’s probably time to re-evaluate your decision-making process when it comes to making commitments.

Yes, you need to do something about your late-night snacking (and the weight you’re gaining as a result of it), but does crash dieting feel like the right thing to do? A great opportunity just landed in your inbox, but it’s not making you jump for joy. Should you take it anyway?

These days, I have a simple rule that I abide by before I decide to say “yes” to something: I ask myself if it makes me feel like a “yes!” inside. If it doesn’t, then it’s a no-go.

By doing this, my life also feels a lot simpler, and more authentic.

Do you feel a need to simplify your life tugging at your soul? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to know!

Michele Lian

Michele Lian

I'm a food coach who's on a mission to show food lovers how to eat what they want, lose fat and keep it off for life with more ease and less overwhelm. Get started on your own mindful fat-loss journey without having to go on a crash or restrictive eating plan with my FREE 4-Week training, where I show you how to stop dieting, start living and look (and feel!) amazing.

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