When you’re on a diet, you’re constantly being tested. Coworkers bring in donuts, your friends want to go to brunch, and your partner wants to take you out to dinner. Everyone means well, but how can you stay on track when you’re constantly being bombarded by temptation?
Your home is one avenue you can control. Keeping unhealthy snacks and sweet treats in your kitchen will only get in the way of reaching your goal. “We have a physiological drive for high-sugar, high-calorie foods,” says Stephanie Rost, a registered dietician with the Weight Watchers 360 Program. “These are the foods that we’re surrounded by, in an environment where it’s OK to eat wherever and whenever you like.”
Changing your cravings can seem impossible, but optimizing your environment for diet success is achievable. Just follow these easy steps for craving-proof your home:
1. Fresh Fruit Where You Can See It
If you’re anything like us, you put fresh fruit in the fridge and forget about it. Don’t let fresh fruit go bad, put it out on the counter where you can see it. According to Brian Wansink’s new book, “Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life,” putting fruit in a bowl on the counter doubles the amount of fruit people consume. Wansink suggests putting the fruit in a high traffic area of the home, preferably on the way to the kitchen making it easier for you or your family to grab a piece of fruit instead of junk food.
2. Strategize Meals
You probably think appetizers are a bad idea, and while you’re right when it comes to potato skins or cheese fries, appetizers can sometimes help you eat less. If you start your meals with a salad or grilled vegetable dish you could fill up on fiber and vitamins, instead of high-calorie foods.
Instead of putting food at the center of the table where it’s easily accessible, create plated portions. Often times we eat, because something is in front of us, even when we’re full. By keeping food in the kitchen, it’s less accessible and you’re less likely to go back for seconds or thirds.
3. Stock Your Fridge Like a Pro
It’s true, refrigerator designers may be against you. They put vegetable crispers and produce drawers on the bottom of the fridge, where healthy foods can be easily missed. Make good foods easily seen and accessible. In some cases you can reorganize your fridge shelves to place crispers and drawers closer to eye level. Keep proteins in clear containers within eye view, for a snack that will keep you fuller longer.
4. Create Single Servings
Companies earn tons of profit each year from dieters purchasing 100 calorie packs and single serving snacks. By creating your own single servings you not only save money, but also help the planet by producing less waste (all those tiny aluminum lined snack bags have to go somewhere).
Take high calorie snacks and divide them into small low-calorie portions. Pre-make soup or grilled proteins so that you have a quick snack or lunch when you’re hungry. Cut up fruits and vegetables in advance and keep them in clear containers. And these are just a few ways single servings can help you eat less.
Want more tips for reducing temptation in your kitchen? Check out Wansink’s tips here.
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The articles on this website are not to be construed as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.