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Can rearranging my kitchen help me lose weight?

Research conducted at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab has shown that when it comes to healthy eating a kitchen makeover can make a big difference.

Most of us are guilty of what Cornell University’s Dr Brian Wansink has termed ‘mindless eating’. We don’t really think about what we eat, we don’t pay attention to how much we’re consuming and when it comes to making decisions about food we’re actually very lazy. We tend to go for the easy choice which, more often than not, is the unhealthy choice. However, a bit of rearranging in the kitchen could help us to bypass our wavering willpower and stick to our healthy eating goals.

Some of the golden rules are:

  • Store all food out of sight, apart from fruit. Research has found that those who keep foods like cookies, crisps, sweets and even cereal on their kitchen counters are more likely to be overweight. Keeping unhealthy snacks out of sight is the best way to ensure that they stay out of mind.
  • Rearrange your cupboards to put healthier options first. When we open our cupboards we’re three times more likely to grab the first thing that we see than the fifth one. So when you’re unpacking your shopping make sure you put healthy foods first. Likewise make vegetables more visible in the fridge by moving them out of the bottom drawer and into your eyeline.
  • Avoid distractions when eating – if we’re reading, working or watching TV we’ll just keep on eating without realising it.
  • Leave serving dishes in the kitchen rather than bringing them to the dining table – we’re so lazy that if we have to get up and walk to get seconds we’re much less likely to do so! In fact this single change could help us to eat 20% less at dinner.

The key to all of these ideas is that they take our natural laziness and ‘mindlessness’ about food and turn it to our advantage by making the healthy choice the easy choice.

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