March is spring-cleaning time, which usually means cleaning out your closets and weeding out those things that tend to clutter your life. But when was the last time you cleaned your kitchen from your diet’s perspective? This is the area of your house most fraught with temptation, and likely way past due for a makeover. This week, make a vow to include your kitchen in the spring-cleaning process. (Yes, there is actually cleaning involved, but think of the calories you’ll burn!) Here’s how to do it:
- The pantry: Take a critical look at everything in here. Get rid of any dry goods you rarely use—pancake or muffin mixes, even dry sugared cereal you may want to snack on. Toss out any possible temptation—stale chips, chocolate baking morsels, or your kids’ junk food. If there’s stuff you buy for your kids that they simply won’t do without, hide it in the back of the cabinet where it will be out of sight (and out of mind).
- The fridge and freezer: In the refrigerator you’ll want to look out for old condiments and staples that could easily pile on the calories—mayonnaise, regular salad dressing, or fruit juices and soda. In the freezer, eliminate all high-fat convenience foods—pizza, bagels, ice cream, and frozen candy bars, and make sure they don’t come back into the house after they’re gone. You may need to enlist the help of your spouse or kids for this one.
- The cabinets: Research shows eating off of smaller plates and drinking out of smaller glasses results in considerably less food and calories. Swap out larger plates for smaller ones, or simply move the smaller plates to the front where you’ll be reminded to use them for meals. Ditto for your drinking glasses (except for your water mug). Also, choose a smaller fork to eat with—it’ll force you to take smaller bites.
Now that you’ve got all that clean, empty space in your kitchen, it’s time to shop!
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