7 Kitchen Changes That Will Help You Lose Weight
If you are one of millions of people struggling with weight issues, chances are good you've tried one or several diet plans, you've invested in weight loss supplements, and you've bought fat-free this and 100 calorie that at the grocery store - but have you tried changing your kitchen?
Most people aren't aware that something as simple as their kitchen layout and design can sabotage their weight loss efforts. The solution luckily, is simple. With 7 simple changes your kitchen is your friend again.
#1. Change Your Plate Size
Did you know that plate sizing has grown by 25% since the 1970's?!
Lisa Young PhD, RD, and author of "The Portion Teller Plan" talks about our tendency to fill our plates and to finish everything on them, and this psychology is the real problem. The average dinner plate size is 12 inches or more, so exchange yours for a plate just 2 inches smaller at 10 inches, and you'll cut a whopping 22% of calories from each meal! However, don't go any smaller, or you'll be going back for seconds.
Another suggestion from Young is to use your salad plate for the high calorie parts of your meal like meats and pasta, and to fill your dinner plate with fruits and vegetables.
#2. Change the Lighting
The bright, high-wattage lighting often used in kitchens may actually raise stress levels stimulating your appetite and spurring you to eat faster than you normally would.
Try to reduce lightening when it's time to eat, 240 watts or four average 60 watt light bulbs is the recommendation and 75-100 watts if you're using compact florescent (we recommend you avoid them. The mercury contamination isn't worth the energy saved). However, don't go too dim. Studies show very dim lighting lessens inhibitions, and eating for weight loss requires eating deliberately.
#3. Clear the Clutter
Often times kitchens become the catch-all of the house, but if your kitchen is filled with stacks of papers, mail and clutter, you'll be less likely to pulling out a cutting board and make a homemade meal and more likely to reach for instant meals or the takeout menu. Clutter also increases stress levels which, as discussed earlier, promotes appetite and spurs faster, less-satisfying eating. Clear clutter out the kitchen and keep your counters as open as possible to support your healthy eating goals.
#4. Change Your Glass Size
Did you know people pour more cups of soda and juice when they use short, wide cups instead of tall, skinny ones?
Our brains tend to focus on the height rather than the width of a cup. The average American consumes around 350 calories everyday from beverages alone. Just two extra ounces of juice a day could cause a weight gain of 3 pounds in one year! Experts suggest that people use skinny glasses for soda and juice and wide cups for water. You should also know that what you drink may have a greater impact than what you actually eat. Cut out just one sugar-sweetened drink a day, and that's one less burden on your body's metabolism.
#5. Change Your Buying Habits
Bulk shopping is another modern enemy of the overweight.
While buying in bulk may save you some money, it probably won't save your waist line. When people use super-sized packages, they are more likely to super-size their intake as well. Research has also found that people consume 23% more food and twice as many candies when eating from large packages. An abundant variety is also a problem. While variety may be the spice of life, it may also encourage overeating.
Director of the Washington Center for Weight Management and Research, Domenica Rubino, MD put it this way - "With four types of cookies at your fingertips, you're more likely to try a little of each in search of satisfaction". If you must buy bulk, try breaking packages down into smaller containers, or single-sized portions, and avoid buying multiple varieties of your favorite treat. Instead, choose variety in healthy foods that will help you lose weight and enjoy the process!
#6. Hide Some Foods, Display Others
Research shows that just seeing food can trigger your brain to feel hungrier and cause a release of dopamine, intensifying your craving for that particular food.
Do yourself a favor and keep tempting, high-fat, high-calorie foods out of sight and out of mind. Use opaque, not see-through containers for these foods and keep them in less convenient spots. Transversely, make healthy snacks as convenient and visible as possible. Prepare them ahead of time, store them in highly visible see-through containers, and keep them front and center in your refrigerator. Remember, weight loss is not about denying yourself - it's about choosing something better for yourself.
#7. Reserve the Kitchen for Eating Only
Bigger plates require bigger kitchens to store them, so it's no surprise kitchens have grown a staggering 50% over the past 35 years! That's probably because they've evolved into a multi-use room, and many kitchens now have a desk, television and more. This can be tricky for someone struggling with weight.
Research shows that those who eat while watching TV not only eat more food in one sitting, but also eat more often than those who eat without the TV. Reserve your kitchen for cooking and eating, and you'll enjoy time spent both in and out of the kitchen that much more.