Make Your Kitchen Weight Loss Readyback
Fun Fact: The #1 New Year’s Resolution in 2014 was ‘Lose Weight’. #2? “Get Organized”.
Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology; Reported on Statisticbrain.com
With Major Mom, you can learn tips and tricks to help you on the road to achieving both of these goals! This month, we share with you some tips to ensure that your kitchen is set up to help support your healthy lifestyle goals.
First steps - picture it and plan it. Ask yourself what is working well in your kitchen and what are your frustration points. Make a space plan - where do you want to store, prep and serve food? What types of food do you want most readily available? Who cooks and who cleans up? What types of food storage supplies do you have, or do you need? Tackle one area at a time to keep from being overwhelmed.
Keeping a clutter-free refrigerator makes food more visually appetizing as well as accessible.
Begin by emptying all the contents of your fridge into categories-cheese, condiments, drinks, meat, fruits, vegetables, ‘other’ (ex. leftovers), desserts. Discard items past expiration date or appeal.
Sort remaining items into new categories - examples could include by types of food, by person, by dietary needs. There is no one ‘right’ way to organize your food. Use a system that makes sense for you and your family! Make sure to take measurements of your containers and tallest items and adjust shelving to make the best use of your refrigerator space.
Load food back in, using baskets or pull-out containers for items that can be lost in the back. Keep in mind your space plan, and make sure that items that support your new health goals are the most accessible.
Set a regular time weekly to clean out your fridge using these steps. Major Mom recommends doing this before you make your weekly menu plan and go food shopping to cut down on duplicate purchases and to make the best use of the ingredients you have on hand.
Declutter the pantry
Similarly to the refrigerator, you will want to empty your pantry completely of all contents and sort into broad categories – cereal, canned goods, baking supplies, etc.
Discard items past expiration and appeal. Donate anything you can to a food bank (most places will take food within one month of expiration date).
Restock your pantry in categories that make sense to you! Don’t be afraid to experiment – try grouping by similar items (cans, boxes), meal ingredients (pasta, sauce), meal categories (breakfast, lunch dinner, snack)
Use shelf baskets to group items as well as collect smaller items that can get lost in the dark recesses of pantry cabinets. Label containers & shelves.
As with your refrigerator, set a regular schedule to revisit the contents of your pantry. Keep your shopping list nearby to note items that are low or out.
Space plan for portion control
Fun Fact: The surface area of the average dinner plate has increased 36% since 1960 (choosehealthia.com)
You have already done space plans for your refrigerator and pantry. Now we want to look at your food preparation and serving areas and how to make those more supportive of your health goals.
Start by collecting all your food preparation materials – measuring cups, spoons, kitchen scale. Empty your cabinets of plates, cups, bowls, glasses.
Decide what you will keep. Refer to the recommended serving size of some of your favorite foods, and choose dishes that will help you stick to reasonable portions.
Note: Food prep/measurement is an area in which you may choose to keep multiples of an item, such as measuring cups, measuring spoons and mixing bowls.
Create categories that will keep like items together and will support efficient preparation of healthy meals. Establish areas for food preparation, serving and storage. Keep your measuring equipment easily accessible. Keeping serving dishes and every day dinnerware near the dishwasher to make loading and unloading easier.
Use bins or baskets to keep items together. Label items that are up high or less frequently used. Use shelf expanders to create more storage in small cabinets.
Starting new habits: The kitchen is closed! Keep the kitchen for cooking and eating only. Doing homework, paying bills or working from home in the kitchen can keep you reaching for food.
Congratulations! By prioritizing and organizing your space and your tools, you have created a kitchen that works for you and your new health goals.