Whether healthy eating and staying fit has been your lifestyle for as long as you can remember, or you are newly committed to a healthier way of life, your home can be your assistant. There are many changes you can make in your home that not only make living a lot easier for all family members, but will make your home an assistant in your weight loss endeavor. We discovered a book written by Brian Wansink titled Slim By Design. According to his site: “As the Director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, Dr. Wansink and his team focus on developing and disseminating transforming solutions that help people eat better.“ Dr. Wansink’s credentials are very long and impressive. We will share a few of his recommendations for getting your home working for you. Right now we will focus on the kitchen. We suggest you pick one or two of Dr. Wansinki’s suggestions so you don’t get overwhelmed. Of course if you are really extra dedicated, you can do more. One of the first changes you should tackle is your refrigerator. After pulling out any outdated or spoiled food, give your fridge a good mopping down. Focus on what you put back on the middle shelf. That’s where you should store single serving sized containers filled with fruits and veggies. You might also consider a small container for boiled eggs. If you are into making your own 100 calories snack packs, the middle shelf is a good home for them also. The middle shelf is the first place our eyes go when we open our fridge door. Let’s make sure you spot the food that will work for you and not against you. Of course, this is going to leave you with some items that need storing elsewhere. If you or your family members just cannot stand the thought of giving up those sugary or high energy drinks, store them in the lower vegetable drawer. That way they are out of sight. It’s important to make as much room as you can for healthy, unprocessed food. Single serving containers sure make life easier for us. Keep at least 6 single serving sized containers of protein. Go even further, if you like, by using a color coded system. Green containers are for veggies, orange are for fruits, maybe yellow for low fat dairy. We even have the option to use those tiny containers for items like salad dressing, condiments and such. There’s no denying that those cute containers can make life easier. If you buy those large bags of frozen vegetables, you know they are difficult to store after the bag has been opened. You can keep your freezer more organized and easier to navigate if you store those veggies in neatly stacked containers meant for the freezer. Make-ahead dinners or home-made mixes for dinners can also find a place in the tubs. You know the colorful cereal boxes with the cute characters on the front? Did you know that kids (and probably adults, too) will poor more cereal into their bowl from that box than if it were in a plain container. Store your cereals in re-sealable, opaque plastic containers. The contents stay fresh longer, and we eat less. In addition, they stack nicely in the pantry. Not a bad deal. Instead of just pouring your cereal, or whatever, into your bowl, use a measuring cup or measuring scoop. If you’re just guessing, you are probably pouring too much. Check the nutritional facts label on your oats, grains, cereals and whatever. Put a scoop or cups into the container that matches the serving amount. You don’t have to spend a lot to have a scoop or a cup in each of your containers. This calls for a trip to the good ole dollar store. In the meantime, you can use a clean, used container like a yogurt cup that measures equal to the serving size.
Portion sizes are a basic fact in dieting. If you are keeping a food journal, it’s difficult to note your calorie intake when your are guessing your portion size. A digital scale is your ‘right hand man’, so to speak. Dr. Wansink highly recommends getting one as soon as you can. And even though uncluttered counter tops are a thing to be desired, don’t store your digital scale in a cabinet. Make a home for it on your countertop. Here’s one we’ve all heard before, but it bares repeating. Use salad plates instead of dinner plates for portion control. We admit there’s no real proof that this leads to weight loss, but what do you have to lose except fat? There are many more ideas for streamlining your home into your own weight lose assistant. We will be share more in the future. Don't get overwhelmed by taking on too much at once. Besides, the cost of even the little things can add up. Just do what you can and think imaginatively. We encourage you to make changes in your kitchen to make your life and dieting easier and more enjoyable. Go on, you can do it.