It seems the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind,” has some truth to it when it comes to making decisions about what we eat. Researchers have found you’re three times more likely to eat the first food you see than the fifth. What does that mean? It means it’s practically impossible to resist those potato chips staring you in the eye every time you open the cabinet looking for a snack.
If this is the case though, could it be that rearranging the kitchen cabinets is all we need to do to make better food choices? Well, it’s certainly not the only thing, but the research suggests this one small change can make a big difference. To help, here are a few simple, organization tricks to get you on your way to healthier eating:
1. Thin out your cabinets.
For many, making better food decisions is as simple as having the right foods on hand and removing highly processed or high-calorie snacks and treats from the house. Make room for more nutritious pantry staples and snacks by purging cabinets of foods that have expired or that no longer support the way you want to eat. Donate unwanted, unexpired foods to a local food bank or homeless shelter. As for the few not-so-good-for-you foods that you or a family member or roommate just can’t live without, continue reading.
2. Relocate highly processed and other tempting, high-calorie foods.
Move the highly desirable, not-so-healthy foods that remain to an inconveniently placed cabinet, preferably one you have trouble reaching and is “baby-proofed” with some sort of lock, or move them to another room altogether. By doing this, you’re removing the visual cue to eat these foods. This alone greatly reduces the likelihood you’ll mindlessly snack on an open bag of cookies or chips. If a spouse, child or roommate has certain tempting treats it’s probably a good idea to move those too — just don’t forget to tell them where you moved them.
3. Put nutritious foods front and center.
Besides having a fruit bowl on the counter and fresh fruit and veggies at eye-level in the fridge, move more nutritious foods to the most visible and accessible shelves. Make healthy snacks like peanut butter, nuts, plain popcorn, whole food snack bars, crunchy chickpeas and whole grain crackers the only snacks in your go-to snack cabinet or pantry shelf.