Simple changes in your own kitchen can support your desire to eat healthier, stop overeating and give you that feeling of control once again!
I’d like to think I know when I’ve overeaten, or eaten too much food. But it’s not always obvious! With processed food and constant distraction, we usually don’t realize we have overeaten until we feel physically sick, or we gain weight.
The mindless eating phenomenon was made popular by the researcher and author Brian Wansink, Ph.D with his research at Cornell University. This is the idea that you are overeating without even noticing or being conscious of it.
While I know some of Dr. Wansink’s research is now retracted, the situations he studied where people didn’t even notice they were overeating can have a big impact on how we can use our environment, rather than willpower to eat less food.
There are 10 things you can change in your own kitchen that can help you control eating. These behavior change can almost make healthier living feel effortless!
10 environmental changes to make in your kitchen to help you eat less!
- Don’t work in the kitchen. If you work from home, or have your computer in the kitchen, snacking, nibbling, and eating while distracted is inevitable. Take the laptop, or the homework to a different room to work, and take your breaks to the kitchen, rather than staying in the kitchen while you are working.
- Change the size of your dishes. The smaller the dishes, the less food people ate. If you are using a 12 inch plate, shrink to a 10″ plate and you’ll reduce your calories without even noticing. The use of portion control plates have been shown to keep people on track at every single meal.
- Close and clean the kitchen between meals. Eliminate the temptation to snack by closing the kitchen, mopping the floor, doing the dishes, etc. Snacking between meals increases calories without noticing.
- Toss or donate foods of convenience. Our food culture has made eating so effortless. If you are keeping packaged foods in the pantry and you find yourself standing inside the pantry to eat, get rid of that food or move it to the back of the cupboard where you aren’t confronted with it every time you open the door.
- During meals, keep second helpings on the counter rather than on the table. Keeping food on the kitchen table while you eat, will inevitably lead to continued eating, even when you are satisfied. Keeping food out of sight won’t trigger more eating.
- Pre-plate high calorie foods. If you prepared a special dessert, plate it on the counter, and send it to the table. Don’t eat from the pan, as it’s difficult to have a stopping point.
- Update the decor. Mirrors, plants, pictures, etc. can have a profound impact on peace and calm. When your are surrounded by beautiful things, you want to take care of your surroundings, and take care of your body.
- Make water bottles easy to find. We like putting our water bottles in a shoe organizer inside the pantry. This makes it easier to drink a lot of water during the day than anything else!
- Keep the kitchen clean and the counters empty! Keeping food on the counter, whether it’s a plate of cookies from the neighbors, or a package of something, is a constant trigger to eat. Keeping your kitchen clean has been shown that people are less likely to overeat, and they eat healthier! In chaos, we consume more food!
- Let in sunlight and fresh air. An abundance of light and fresh air can lead to a feeling of health and wellness. Darkness and stuffiness leads to despair. Use this to your advantage to put in motion feelings of lightness and joy and you will naturally eat less and feel amazing.
What are some ways you like to update your kitchen to eat less food?