Organize your Kitchen Pantry for Weight Loss Success
Are your kitchen cupboards a shrine to your junk food, or a shrine to eating healthy? Without realizing it, we reinforce our eating habits by how we display the food in our pantries. But, it's not hard to change what we see every day when we're making decisions about what to eat.
Organizing spaces and objects uses similar skills as financial planning, scheduling, and managing a business... if you're doing it right. Try drawing from skills you may have strengthened elsewhere but never thought to apply to organizing your cupboards.
I'm a big fan of Julie Morgenstern, who first entered the mainstream spotlight as a regular guest on Oprah. She began as a closet organizer and applies those principles to everything from Time Management, and Managing your Money, to Business Management. She has even consulted for American Express and Sony. When it comes to organization of any kind- she is the expert. The SPACE method created by Julie Morgenstern makes organizing anything a fast and easy process.
How organized are your cupboards?
If you like this method, I recommend this book by Julie Morgenstern
SPACE Method of Organization
Step 1 – Sort
Start by taking everything out of your cabinets or fridge. Now sort it with weight loss in mind. Think about your strengths and weaknesses as a dieter. The same categories don't apply to everyone but they may go something like this: Whole Grains (cereals, breads, baking mixes, flour, corn, etc), Snacks (all of your sweet and salty indulgences), Low Calorie Foods (mostly veggies, sugar-free Jello and pudding, zero calorie water enhancers like Mio and Crystal Light), High Protein Foods, etc... If you're using Weight Watchers Points Plus, you might group things by points values, for example. The most important thing is not to group things the usual way- group them with the purpose of dieting in mind! Think about affecting the decisions that you make when you open your cupboards.
Step 2 – Purge
If you find that you have 10 bags of candy and all they're doing is tempting you- give them away or throw them out! You have no use for that temptation on a diet- get rid of it now!
Step 3 – Assign
Now that your food is sorted into groups, look at what you have and decide where to put things. Keep in mind that most of us stock up when our cupboards look empty- so leave lots of empty space where the things you want to eat more are going and stuff all those sweet and salty snacks into the smallest space you can. Also, put the good stuff around eye level and the bad stuff up high or down low.
Step 4 – Containerize
This is just to make things tidier and more accessible to you. There are tons of cupboard organizers out there- storage bins, lazy susans, a spice rack, plastic drawers and canisters... The only thing to keep in mind when you're cleaning things up here, is that you're less likely to eat the food you can't see. Keep the good stuff in clear view and put the bad stuff inside other containers.
Step 5 – Evaluate
Give yourself some time to get used to the changes and see what's working for you and what isn't. Tweak things as needed to make them perfect for your unique dieting needs
You can probably close your eyes and picture what's on each shelf of your cupboards right now. It's an image that's burned into our minds every time we look for our next meal. What do your cupboards say? Are they subconsciously pushing you to eat more junk, or are they subconsciously pushing you to eat healthier? You can take control of what you see, and therefore how you feel about the food in your cupboards.
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