Your new secret weapon for weight loss: reorganizing your kitchen. You may think keeping snacks out of sight is a "Duh" tip, but there are actually well-done research studies that prove it really works. Here are some other scientifically proven housekeeping suggestions that can help you lose those extra pounds:
1. Eliminate the clutter.
A messy kitchen can make you feel stressed and out of control, and encourage you to eat more. This emerges from a study published this year in the journal Environment and Behavior. In fact, the women in the study, who were exposed to a tidy kitchen full of mail, newspapers, and dirty dishes, ate twice as many cookies in the untidy kitchen as in the tidy one.
2. Hide the snacks.
If you need to have unhealthy snacks in the house, make sure to use a step stool (and possibly a card) to find them. Studies by the Food & Brand Lab at Cornell University have shown that they are out of sight when they are out of sight. They also point out that if you have to eat a lot of delicious food, you are constantly making the same decision – whether you eat it or not – and you will probably wear yourself out at some point and succumb to temptation. Forget about these cute little glass containers. Store the goodies in opaque containers and use aluminum foil, not plastic, to fatten the leftovers in the fridge. (Cornell researchers found that the average kitchen has four or five snack cabinets, and recommended isolating treats to just one.)
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3. Place the good things where you can see them and grab them.
Don't get rid of these small glass containers or the plastic wrap. They are perfect for healthy foods that you want to eat. It's also okay to have a few things on the counter, such as a fruit bowl filled with grapes on the vine that you've cut into easy-to-eat portions. Other research at Cornell, described in the Slim by Design book by laboratory head Brian Wansink, PhD, found that healthy foods that you can see and reach can make you eat more of them. And the sweet spot? The middle shelf in the fridge. Here you can keep celery, carrots, apples, oranges and other healthy dishes, not in the trash.
4. Consider buying small red plates.
A study published earlier this year in the Association for Consumer Research journal found that reducing your plates by 30 percent also reduced the amount you eat by 30 percent, partly by reducing the amount you serve yourself. Why red? Cornell research has shown that the plate color also contributes to how much you serve yourself, especially when the plate and the food have a strong contrast. Parts of white foods like pasta and rice look much larger on a darker plate, the researchers say. You will also eat less dark foods on lighter plates. Mix and match?
5. Drop the stools and chairs in the kitchen.
Or make your kitchen less comfortable, at least as a meeting point. The more time you spend in the kitchen, other Cornell researchers say, the more you'll eat.
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6. Serve from the stove, not from the table.
Cornell researchers say you're less likely to overeat if you have to go to the kitchen for seconds instead of just reaching for the bowl or plate on the table.
7. Invest in healthy kitchen utensils.
Have you tried zoodles yet? These are the "noodles" made with a special device for spiraling zucchini. For just $ 30, you get a spiralizer that stacks all kinds of noodle-like vegetables that you can use in place of pasta. Imagine a collapsible metal vegetable steamer that you can use not only to steam vegetables, but also other healthy foods like tofu or homemade spring rolls made from shredded vegetables. And take the guesswork out of serving sizes by running a food scale on the countertop. You can find one that is only about six by two inches tall so that it doesn't add to a crowded look.
8. Store an aromatherapy diffuser in the kitchen or dining room.
Studies have shown that just smelling the scent of fruits like apples, bananas and grapefruit can help you eat less. A Dutch study from 2012 in the Flavor magazine also suggested that strong flavors – such as onions, garlic, and chilli – could encourage you to take smaller bites.