You’ve probably heard the mantra, “Out of sight, out of mind,” right? And while it may be a bit cliché, it’s actually rooted in scientific fact — especially when it comes to setting yourself up for weight loss success.*
Several studies showcase this. A 2015 study published in Health Education & Behavior found that women who left things like candy, soda and cereal out on their counter weighed 20-31 pounds more than those who left fruit out. A 2002 study from researchers at Cornell University found that women who had to walk more than six feet to get chocolate ate half as much as those who had it right in front of them. And a 2013 study published in PLoS One found that seeing junk food is more likely to cause people to eat it.
These studies are among several that demonstrate that one of the key ingredients to achieving your goals is ensuring your kitchen is properly organized.
So, how do you go about doing that? We rounded up 6 surefire ways to set up your kitchen that will keep the temptations at bay and make it easier to do what you set out to do.
1) Put those empty calories far, far away.
Ideally, you wouldn’t have any junk food even in the house. But unless you’re living alone, family members are likely to want snacks. Put all those chips, cookies, candy and similar snacks at the very back of the cupboard — behind things like canned goods, spices or other healthier items. And never, ever, leave them sitting out in plain sight. If you have to dig to get at them, there’s a better chance you can remind yourself that they’re not worth the trouble.
2) Place a bowl of fruit on the counter.
Picture this: You’re working from home and that 2 p.m. snack-hour rolls around. You look up and see a bowl of apples, oranges, pears and bananas sitting out. That’s likely going to give you much more incentive to enjoy a healthy, nutritional snack rather than the pretzels in the back of the cupboard, right. You bet it is.
3) Keep healthy stuff up front in the fridge.
When you open your refrigerator door, you should be greeted with a bright array of colorful vegetables and fruits. Instead of placing the celery, carrots, sugar snap peas and tomatoes in the vegetable drawer where you may very well forget about them, place them in the front of the shelves that are the most visible when you open the door. While you’re at it, make a habit of putting the leftovers and other refrigerator items behind them.
4) Use a mix of colorful and clear containers.
Store leftover items like the kids’ macaroni and cheese in colored containers you can’t see into without removing the lid. Likewise, store things like healthy meals and side dishes in the ones you can see. Stack the clear ones in front of the colored ones (behind the fresh vegetables, if possible), so that when you open the refrigerator door, that’s what you see first.
5) Your plates and cups matter, too.
Portion size is one of the most important elements of weight loss.* That’s why replacing your traditional, 10-inch dinner plates with a bunch of 7-inch salad plates is a great way to trick your mind into eating smaller portions. Similarly, you’re likely to pour more calorie-filled beverages into a large glass, so opt for something like a champagne glass instead.
6) Keep that kitchen clean.
Kitchens with visible dirty dishes, snacks, crumbled papers, etc. can be a weight loss deterrent. That’s because research shows that clutter and messiness go hand-in-hand with greater levels of stress. And, the more stressed we are, the more likely we are to consume empty calories. Try to make a habit of putting the dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher, wiping down counters and putting food away after every meal. Those shiny countertops and empty sinks will go a long way towards keeping your kitchen mood calm and in control.
Overall, having a well-organized kitchen that keeps healthy, nutritional items top-of-mind is an important step towards setting the stage for that weight loss success* you’re working so hard to achieve!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.