How your Kitchen Can Help You Maintain Your Weight Loss
Prepping healthful meals and snacks at home is one key to maintaining weight loss, but when you’re tired and hungry, so often “what you see is what you eat”. What do you see when you open your refrigerator or pantry? Plenty of healthful options—or a big bag of potato chips or other empty-calorie snack staring you in the face?
While you were losing weight, chances are you stocked your kitchen with healthful options. However, you might live with others who don’t eat exactly the way you do, or perhaps now you want to keep a few special indulgences for yourself on hand. If so, your kitchen might have a few not-so-healthful options lurking on the shelves.
Here are a few tips to help you stock and organize your kitchen in a way that supports your continued goal of eating healthfully and maintaining weight loss.
What’s on those shelves?
Do a quick inventory to make sure you still have plenty of the good stuff on hand. Stocking up on healthy snacks and ingredients for meals will help you keep from being tempted to dive into someone else’s bag of chips. Keep a grocery list handy in the kitchen so you can avoid running out of healthy options.
Keep your refrigerator stocked with fresh veggies, yogurt, and lean proteins. Also stock up on condiments and spices to make your meals and snacks more interesting. Oils, vinegars, mustards, hot sauces, or spice blends can add kick to that chicken breast—just be sure to check labels for salt and sugar content.
Make note of any foods that belong to someone else in the household, and your once-in-a-while treats, and set them aside for now.
Location, location, location
After you know what you have, then you can arrange it to support your habit of healthy eating. Give the healthiest options prime real estate: a bowl of fruit on the counter, or baggies of fresh vegetables front and center in the refrigerator, for example. One behavioral study found women who kept a stocked fruit bowl on the counter weighed 13 pounds less than women who didn’t.
When storing leftovers, put healthy options in clear containers, and store the less healthy ones in opaque containers.
Keep a pitcher of cold water where you’ll see it easily in the refrigerator to remind you to drink more.
Remember those foods you set aside? Give them their own out-of-sight shelf, cabinet or drawer, one that you don’t see every time you reach for a can of tomato sauce. This is especially helpful if your family members or housemates absolutely must have treats you don’t want to indulge in.
Pre-portion your own snacks so that you don’t eat too much. Eating too much of good-for-you foods can also pack on those pounds you just took off. Think one-ounce bags of nuts or single servings of whole-grain crackers.
Keep it tidy
According to one study, a messy kitchen is also one that encourages overeating. Chaos in the kitchen seems to translate into more munching. Keep your kitchen organized and you’ll be less likely to lose control of your eating.
The next time you come home hungry, know that when you open your pantry or refrigerator, it will be easy to find foods that fill you up, make you feel good, and help maintain your weight loss.