Many of us are looking for quick and easy weight loss tips – especially this time of year! I have 5 psychological hacks you can put in place today to prime your kitchen for weight loss. These 5 tips to prime your kitchen for weight loss success will help you trick yourself into eating less with less effort!
I recently shared these tips live on CTV’s national morning show “Your Morning” with host Lindsey Deluce. Here’s the video of my segment on how to Prep Your Kitchen for Weight Loss Success live on Your Morning!
5 Tips to Prime Your Kitchen for Weight Loss Success
1. Buy Small Green Plates
Above we have 1 cup of pasta on a green plate (contrasting color to the food) and the same amount of pasta on a white plate (similar color as the food).
Research from Brian Wansink and his colleagues at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab suggests that people serve themselves 30% more food if the colour of their food matches the colour of their plate!
When you look at the example of the plates of pasta above, you can see that the pasta on the white plate seems to disappear into the background. That’s why your brain tells you to load up on more… whether you need it or not!
Here’s an easy psychological healthy eating hack you can use to eat less:
Always make sure your plate and your food contrasts in color to eat less of that food.
Why Green Plates?
You can also use this optical illusion to trick yourself into eating more of the foods you want to increase in your diet. That’s why I suggest you buy green plates. They’ll help you eat more greens!
If you can’t find green plates, get yourself some small blue plates. Blue plates are also a good idea because few foods are blue… it will create a contrast with whatever you’re eating for dinner.
Why Small Plates?
You might already know that when it comes to your plates, bowls and cups, size matters!
Smaller plates make you serve yourself less food. Larger plates make you want to add more food to fill up the plate, regardless of how hungry you are.
These plates have the same amount of food on them, but it looks like a feast on the smaller plate and like more of an appetizer on the large plate. Large plates mean you’re going to want to fill up all of that empty space.
2. Get Placemats That Match Your Plates
Take a look at these small white plates and the effect that the background you put them on has on perception. We have a white plate on a white placemat (same color) and a white plate on a black placemat (contrasting color).
Putting your plate on a placemat or tablecloth with a similar color can make it look like your food “fills” more of the plate. Based on some fascinating research from Wansink’s team at Cornell, you’ll serve yourself 10% less food!
Having a contrasting colour between your plate and placemat makes your plate look emptier, and you’ll fill it up more.
3. Serve Food From the Counter
I love family-style eating where all of the various dishes are on the table and everyone can serve themselves. But keeping so much food within reach can make you eat more! That’s why serving from the kitchen counter or stove is a better bet for a healthy weight.
Have you ever been sitting at the dinner table feeling full, but there’s still serving dishes of yummy food sitting there right in front of you… so eventually you think, “that lasagna was really good. I’m going to have a little bit more”. Yep, we do it all the time.
Having food sitting on the table makes you eat more, even when you’re not hungry. Make it harder to get seconds and keep food off the dining table. That means you have to think about it more before you get up and serve yourself. The same goes for desserts – serve everyone and then put the rest away.
You can use this psychological trick to help you eat more of the foods you want to fill up on. That’s why only the salad and other veggies go on the table. If you or other people are hungry for seconds, you’ll fill up on more vegetables. You’ll be getting more fiber, phytochemicals and other nutrients for fewer calories! That’s better health and weight loss for minimal effort!
4. Trade the Cookie Jar for a Fruit Bowl
This is amazing: researchers looked at the association between the types of foods people keep on their kitchen counters and their weight. You’ll be amazed at what they found!
If you have any snack foods or even cereal, pop or soda sitting on your kitchen counter, you’re more likely to be overweight. By 20 pounds or more, according to the research!
That’s because every time you walk by the kitchen, you’ll see any snack foods that are out and reach for them, even if you’re not hungry.
The good news: people who keep a fruit bowl on their counter tend to weigh 13 pounds less!
Make the healthy choice convenient and attractive and you’ll automatically be healthier.
5. Declutter Your Kitchen
You know the feeling… your kitchen looks like a tornado hit it and you can’t be bothered to deal with it and cook. I guess it’ll be takeout or a bowl of cereal tonight!
That messy kitchen can do more than stress you out and prevent you from cooking healthy meals.
In a recent study, researchers had women wait for a meeting in either a clean kitchen or a messy kitchen with a plate of cookies in front of them. Researchers found that the women in the messy kitchen ate twice as many cookies!
People tend to eat more high calorie comfort foods in messy kitchens due to stress and feeling a loss of control. To feel in control of your environment (which helps translate into feeling in control of your eating) try to declutter and clean your kitchen before you start eating.
I hear ya, that’s not always possible with our hectic lives. Getting dinner ready in itself is a win! If cleaning your kitchen before you eat isn’t possible, there’s still a powerful step you can take to eat less. Tell yourself you’re in control before eating and research suggests you’ll eat 100 fewer calories!
Here’s my new mindful eating mantra: “Clean kitchen, clean eating”.
And there you have it! 5 tips to prime your kitchen for weight loss success.
No special diets or restricting foods. These are 5 easy tips you can put into action today to help you achieve your healthy eating and weight loss goals.
What do you think of these tips? Any surprises? Which ones are you going to try today?
If you want to improve your health, lose weight, gain muscle or have other nutrition goals you’d like to achieve this year, let’s talk. I’d love to help you out via some online or phone nutrition counseling! Get in touch with me for a free 15 minute consultation.
All the best for a fantastic, healthy and happy year!