We’ve all heard people talk about the fact that health and fitness starts in the kitchen. That refers to the fact that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and if you fill up on junk food, there aren’t enough hours in the day to spend at the gym working it all off. That makes perfect sense and should be something that everyone with more than a passing interest in health and wellness should keep in mind regardless of what they do. However, have you ever considered that your kitchen could actually be healthier?
If you focus on fitness and want to optimise everything you do to achieve your wellness goals, there are opportunities throughout the kitchen to do exactly that. With these 10 tips, you’ll have it in perfect shape to get yourself into perfect shape in no time.
1. Prioritise Healthy Foods at the Front of the Cupboards and Fridge
If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t plan and schedule every meal and snack, there will be times when you open the fridge to see what’s there. With no plans in mind, there’s a good chance you’ll settle on the first thing you see. It happens to the best of us but doesn’t always support our wellness goals. However, you can overcome this by prioritising the foods that are better for you. Keep fruits and vegetables towards the front, and blocks of cheese nearer the back. That way, the first thing you see will be perfectly adequate as a snack, but won’t undermine your health efforts in any way.
2. Go A Step Further and Hide the Unhealthy Foods
Depending on your personal dietary habits, you might allow yourself unhealthy treats every now and then. It is not for us to say that certain foods have no place in the kitchen, and we’re as guilty as anyone else of the occasional excessive snacking session. Nevertheless, these foods should be a treat, rather than part of your everyday diet. If you struggle with prioritising, as outlined in the first tip, you might consider hiding the bad foods. You’ll know where they are, but there’s no chance of incidentally stumbling upon them when you’re hungry.
3. Place Reminders in the Kitchen
We all experience moments of weakness when seeking to watch what we eat. It is how we deal with them that differentiates the healthiest people from those that feel like they could do better. Motivational quotes, achievement certificates on certain weight-loss plans and so many other things can all contribute to getting through the tough times, and it can make sense to make them apparent in the kitchen whenever you feel you might struggle.
4. Brush Up on Portion Sizes
Even if you mostly attempt to eat as healthily as possible, it’s still possible to eat too much. When it comes to food, eating more calories than you use will see you gaining weight, even if they’re ‘healthy’ calories. Look into how much of something is the right amount for a meal, and try to stick to that. If you struggle, then a calorie counting app can be just what you need to keep an eye on real numbers.
5. Focus on One Place to Eat
If you can condition your brain to expect to eat somewhere, and only there, you can cut down on the mindless snacking that might get in the way of achieving your goals. While these tips relate to the kitchen, that might not be the best place. Indeed, choosing somewhere other than the kitchen can cut down on the time spent dipping into the fridge for something to eat when you’re peckish, but potentially cannot spare the calories.
6. Keep Herbs and Spices Around
One issue some people face with dieting is that they like certain foods because of the taste, and some of the healthier options can taste bland in comparison. It does happen, but the solution is simply to make those foods taste better. Herbs and spices are the key, as they add virtually nothing to the total calorific intake, but can change the taste entirely into something much more amenable to your palette.
7. Keep the Kitchen Tidy
Whether you can tell or not, an untidy space is rarely a productive one. Procrastination afflicts many people, but it is often those that are tasked with achieving something in an untidy space that struggles the most. At best, you won’t want to reach your cooking potential if everything is a mess. At worst, you’ll make an effort but spend more time looking around at what needs cleaning than actually getting something done.
8. Take Time to Focus on Your Food
You’ll notice just how often distractions and a wandering mind can affect your health and fitness throughout these tips, and it can happen during the act of eating too. Lots of people sit in front of the television while they eat or otherwise occupy themselves with something other than the food. It can be worth trying to cut out these distractions and to focus on the plate. This way, you can listen out for signals from the body that you’re full and have eaten enough – and chronic overeating is one of the worst things you can do.
9. Don’t Leave Takeaway Menus Around
We used to have a drawer that was practically used exclusively for takeaway menus. However, you don’t need or want them if you want to eat healthily, so you should cut back on the option. There’s always the app alternative, but that requires you to open the app. With menus, if they’re there, it can feel more comfortable to go with them and nothing else. Throw them out as soon as they come through the door!
10. Be Ruthless With Your Shopping Lists
You can get into the habit of making your shopping lists in the kitchen. This saves money too, as you can check what you really need before you buy it. However, try to focus on healthy foods as if junk food isn’t in the house in the first place, there’s no chance of veering off track!