Many people resolve at the start of a new year to eat healthier, and they may be successful at first, but all too often after a couple of months have passed, they begin to lose the motivation. This is when people slip into behaviors such as late night snacking or too much takeout on the run.
Your home is the foundation of eating right. It can encourage good habits or prolong unhealthy ones. The way your kitchen is organized may contribute greatly to what you eat throughout the week. Whether you want to lose weight or simply start eating a more nutritious diet, we have compiled some tips for setting up a health-food friendly kitchen.
Photo by Flickr user Michelle Tribe.
Reorganize your refrigerator
Your first step should be tackling what may be the primary culprit in unhealthy eating: your fridge. Give it a thorough inspection, tossing expired items and mystery leftovers. Put any unhealthy items in harder to reach places, and arrange healthy foods so they are easily accessible and stored with nutrition labels facing out.
Photo by Flickr user Robert Benner.
Clean out your pantry
The next problem area may be your pantry. You should get rid of – or at least hide – items loaded with calories or high in starch. We all have our personal guilty pleasure foods, which are fine in moderation, but make sure to tuck your stash out of sight so you aren’t tempted to munch on it too frequently.
Photo by Flickr user francois.
Your freezer is your friend
While your freezer should not house an overabundance of ice cream cartons and other sweet treats, it is the perfect spot for healthy options such as veggie burgers, chicken breasts, frozen veggies, and frozen berries.
Photo by Flickr user Jessica Spengler.
Keep herbs and spices around
If you are really ambitious, you can start your own herb garden right in your kitchen for fresh, tasty seasonings whenever you need them. Or you can simply have plenty of jars of herbs and spices handy for a healthy way to add a bit of flavor to your meals.
Photo by Flickr user slgckgc.
Don’t place snacks on the counter
A cookie jar on your kitchen countertop or an open bag of chips laying out provide ample temptation. If you are going to leave any foods out in your line of sight, they should be your more nutritional choices.
Invest in containers that are both functional and stylish to hold your healthy foods. Clear containers will let you know how much you have left.
Photo by Flickr user Pete Birkinshaw.
Stock your kitchen with useful items
Make sure you have all the tools you need that will help you prepare healthy meals. High quality chopping boards and kitchen knives are essential for cutting up fruits and veggies. Colanders, griddles, steamers, woks, and salad spinners are other examples of housewares you could have on hand.
Photo by Flickr user mathiasbaert.
Keep appliances you need handy
Small appliances such as blenders, juicers, and food processors can all make fixing healthy dishes and drinks easier.
Photo by Flickr user Christian Cable.
Invest in a kitchen scale
If you really want to closely monitor what you are eating, a digital scale will help you measure portions more accurately.
Photo by Flickr user David Hepworth.
Use smaller plates
Over the years, the average plate size has increased, leading to larger servings. Research has proven that if you begin using slightly smaller dishes, your brain will still register it as a full plate of food and feel satisfied with the amount you just ate.
Photo by Flickr user Maegan Tintari.
Prepare ahead of time
On those weeks you know will be hectic, fix healthy meals in advance so you won’t resort to getting fast food. You can also make your own snack packs for easy portion control. These allow for more customization and are cheaper than the options you will find in stores.
Photo by Flickr user Denis Dervisevic.
Present food in an attractive way
Spruce up your meals before you serve them so kids and picky eaters will be more likely to give them a try instead of dismissing them.
Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have any of your own to share? Tell us what you think in the comments below!