Decluttering your kitchen is great for your state of mind. A clean, well-organized kitchen can help you be more efficient when you’re preparing meals. But did you know that making the decision to organize your kitchen can also help with weight loss?
Optimizing your kitchen is great for more than just tidying things up around your house. It’s also a valuable opportunity to establish healthier habits when it comes to food and cooking. The most important part of losing weight is establishing a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
Let’s take a look at these tips on how you can clean and organize your kitchen in ways that promote weight loss.
Eliminate unhealthy foods and ingredients
As you look to embrace a new you, an important part of the process is letting go of the things that contributed to bad habits in the past. That’s why you’ll need to start by saying goodbye to some old standbys from your kitchen.
The first step might be the most simple. As you’re going through your refrigerator and pantries, you’ll obviously be looking to throw away any food that’s past its sell-by date. Why not take the opportunity to throw out anything you don’t want to continue eating in the new year? Throwing away unhealthy foods and snacks in the name of decluttering is a good start for building a healthier you. You’re “clearing the field,” so to speak.
Unhealthy foods you should be looking to lose include:
- Salty snacks (chips, pretzels, cheese puffs)
- Sugary foods (ice cream, chocolate, cookies or muffins)
- Sugary drinks (sodas, artificial fruit juices)
This can be hard – it may mean saying goodbye to that last can of Coke that’s been lingering in the fridge – but ultimately it can do wonders for your health. Think of all your unhealthy items as clutter that’s doing you no favors. By tossing the unhealthy snacks you spend your day nibbling on, you’re well on your way to revitalizing your diet and health.
Now that you’ve purged your kitchen of all temptations, you can go about organizing it better.
Cleaning your fridge
You won’t find a better opportunity to clean your fridge than the time after you’ve cleared it. Take this time to give it a good scrubbing, reorganize the shelves how you’d like them, and arrange anything still in there in its proper place. You’ll be filling this soon enough so you want it to be ready for when it’s full (more on that below). There’s something invigorating about a clean refrigerator that can leave you feeling excited to load it up with plenty of healthy options. Think of yourself as an artist looking at a blank canvas on which to paint your new, healthy masterpiece of a diet.
Organizing your pantry shelves
Once your fridge is cleaned, it’s time to move to the pantry. Take all your remaining items and organize them by like foods. You can also set up and clear the new areas you’d like to put the healthier options you end up introducing.
You’ll be amazed at how much shelf space you have when you get rid of the non-essentials. You can also organize your glassware and Tupperware containers – you’ll need those for when you do your meal planning. Decluttering the pantries you keep these in is essential to having them available later on.
Set up your spices
A common misconception is that healthy food can’t be flavorful or taste good. This is incorrect. It’s all about the seasoning you use. A plain chicken breast can become the meal of the year with the right combination of spices.
Clear your pantry of any unhealthy spices like sugar or too much salt. You can then make room for other spices like basil, rosemary, cumin, and more that can give an added kick to any meal. When it comes time to explore new recipes, you’ll give yourself more options on what you can make.
Put your favorite cooking utensils where they can be reached easily
Healthier eating means cooking more at home than eating out. Locate your favorite kitchen utensils you use the most – pots, pans, spatulas, etc. – and put them in an easy to reach, visible location. Also, you may want to get rid of any excess or old cooking materials you don’t use anymore. This will cut down on the clutter in your kitchen cabinets and make it easy to reach the things you do want to use.
You may also want to invest in new, easily storable cooking materials. Having materials you look forward to using – something like a nice cast-iron skillet – can motivate you to cook more often.
Fill your kitchen with good foods and ingredients
Now that you’ve said good riddance to bad rubbish, it’s time to restock your kitchen. You’ll want to have easy but healthy options for both meals and snacks. In your refrigerator and freezer that means options such as:
- Frozen and fresh vegetables
- Olives, pickles or string cheese
- Healthy drinks like unsweetened green tea
In your pantry, you’ll want to focus on options like canned tuna and chicken. Your diet is going to depend largely on you, so consult your medical provider to determine what works best depending on your body, family history, and health. But in general terms, you’ll want to have whole, unprocessed foods for the most part. A good rule of thumb? When shopping at the grocery store, do most of your browsing on the perimeter (produce, dairy, meat) where most of the unprocessed food lies.
Meal plan your way to better health
You’ve removed all unhealthy foods. You’ve organized your fridge and pantry to optimize the empty space. You’ve stocked your kitchen with healthier options. Now you can go about meal planning using all the decluttered space you’ve set up for yourself.
Meal planning is a great way to cut down on the mental energy needed to eat healthier. Have plenty of bins ready to store and refrigerate pre-prepared meals. You can also refrigerate healthy snack options like fresh fruit. You can also keep non-refrigerated options like nuts or beef jerky in your pantry.
Decluttering the place you prepare food is all about opening up space to fill your kitchen with healthy options. The most important part of weight loss is eating healthier, and optimizing your kitchen assists you in making that a reality.