It was hardly surprising when I was recently browsing on Amazon that images of Secrets from the Eating Lab and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up popped up as items that were frequently bought together.
Over the years, I have seen many clients kickstart their organizing journey at the same time as they start their weight loss/health regimes.
What is it about a disorganized kitchen that makes it difficult to stay healthy?
My investigations led me to other experts in the field: behavioral scientist Brian Wansink and professional organizer Peter Walsh.
1. Brian Wansink: Slim by Design
Behavioral scientist Wansink’s belief is that diets that require 24/7 willpower don’t work and that in order to lose weight, you need to tweak your environment to help you mindlessly eat better. The home kitchen is one the places where you can make changes. Wansink highlights the following tasks:
- Clearing the counter, except for fruit
- Making tempting foods invisible and inconvenient
- Using smaller plates, glasses, and serving utensils
- Rearranging the food items in cabinets, pantries, and refrigerators: keep healthy food up front
- Making it easier to cook, especially to prep vegetables
I can definitely attest to the last point. I am a reluctant cook who has learned from experience that unless a kitchen space is inviting and organized, I will avoid it. While I can assure you that the kitchen countertops in my home are not completely clear and clutter free, unused loitering kitchen appliances are probably my top pet peeve as they take up valuable counter space.
Interestingly enough, empty kitchens can also be attributed to weight gain: having no food in your home means that you will have to head out to restaurants for food and not always make the best food choice selections.
You can take a 10-point version of the Slim by Design Home Scorecard to see if your home is making you heavy or whether it is helping to make you Slim by Design here. (The full 100-point scorecard can be found in the book.)
2. Professional organizer Peter Walsh: Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight
Walsh talks about developing a vision for what you want from your kitchen. He stresses the importance of ensuring that the appearance and contents of the room support the activities you are planning to do there. He discusses different tasks that need to be addressed, including:
- Cleaning out your fridge and freezer
- Cleaning out your pantry
- Clearing all horizontal surfaces
- Sorting through dishes
- Setting up an efficient preparation zone
- Addressing your countertop command zone
If you are motivated to lose weight, the first step to success would be to declutter and organize your kitchen.