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Simple steps to a diet-friendly kitchen

29 JANUARY 2013

With a fridge full of tempting treats and cupboards stacked high with your favourite foods, the kitchen can be a dangerous place to be when you are trying to lose weight!

So here are some small changes you can make to help make life a little easier.

Keep your kitchen clean
Make a rule that the kitchen should always be left clean and tidy - that means no dirty dishes in the sink, and no cluttered work surfaces. You will be much more motivated to cook healthy, nutritious meals if you don't have to clean the kitchen first

 

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Water, water, water
Fill a nice jug with ice, water and lemon slices and place it in your fridge in full view. Whenever you open your fridge, make sure you pour yourself a glass. Plenty of water will really help boost your metabolism, and will also flush impurities from your body


Keep healthy foods in sight
Researchers at Cornell University found that we are three times more likely to eat the first item we see than the fifth, so keeping healthy foods on display could really help your diet.
Keep a fruit bowl out on a counter in a highly visible place - make sure the bowl itself is not too deep because most fruit keeps best unstacked - and leave pre-chopped vegetables in the front of your fridge as a healthy snack option


…And ditch the junk
Just as much as repositioning healthy foods can aid your diet, so too will removing those 'bad' foods. Ideally you want to cut out junk food completely, but if you do find yourself stocking up on the odd treats make sure they are kept hidden away at the very back of a cupboard to avoid temptation. Making them difficult to get to will stop you mindlessly snacking, and will also give you time to think about whether you really want to give in.

 

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Get spicy
Stock up your spice rack to help you flavour your meals without adding fat or calories. Some spices, including ginger, cayenne, fresh garlic, curry powder, basil, oregano and rosemary, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties


Simply steam
If you don't already have one, invest in a vegetable steamer. Steaming is the healthiest way to cook vegetables because important nutrients aren't lost in the boiling water


Dinner SOS
Keep at least one healthy emergency meal in the freezer for those days when you just can't be bothered to cook. Make sure they are stored in individual portions to stop you over-eating, and when you are running low make up a double batch of your next meal so you never run out. It's a great way to stop you picking up the phone and ordering a tempting take-out!


Downsize your crockery
If you have bigger plates, it's very easy to overeat. Try swapping your crockery (plates, bowls and cutlery) for smaller versions to help you control your serving sizes

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Get some fridge-spiration
Find a favourite picture of yourself and stick it on your fridge to help motivate you. It will act as a positive reminder of why you should resist those cravings and stick to healthy eating. You could also write out a motivational quote or a list of reasons you should stay away from naughty treats


The sweet smell of success
Research has shown that the smell of vanilla significantly reduces cravings for sweet foods and drinks. So if you are struggling to curb the need for sugar after dinner, it might be worth investing in a vanilla-scented candle to help suppress it


Kitchen closed!
Stop snacking in the evening by imposing a kitchen ban after dinner.Take anything you might need during those hours out of the kitchen, and then shut the door until morning. It takes will-power, but will help you stop making late-night visits to the fridge

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