Spring warmth and sunshine brings us an increased mental and physical boost. With this renewed energy it is the ideal time to make space for self-care and nourishment. While nutrition quality is a primary focus at McDaniel Nutrition, we also emphasis self-assessment of habit to support health goals. This blog is the first of a 3-part series that sheds light on 3 habits that successful weight maintainers practice. The first habit highlights the weight management power of clearing the clutter.

Have you heard of bestseller book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo? I will admit I wasn’t thrilled about dedicating time to read a book about cleaning my home, but the book lived up to its title. It changed how I live my life.  Marie discusses her two-pronged approach to organization:

  1. Purging materials like clothes, books, papers, or items you simply don’t use (I gave away 9 trash bag sized clothes to Goodwill).
  2. Putting what you do use in places that you can easily find it and easily put it away.

While it is obvious that Marie doesn’t have three boys under the age of 5, her approach to organization taught me how to de-clutter, stay more organized which in turn preserves precious energy.

Clean and organized spaces are simply good for our health and good for weight loss.

For example, 

One Study showed that an organized kitchen decreased mindless snacking by 40%

Another study showed that 

Stressed women ate 2x more cookies when in a cluttered versus clean space.

How does organization help us lose weight? Clean and tidy spaces seem to:

  • ·      improves self-control
  • ·      frees up time (a major barrier to healthy eating)
  • ·      lowers stress.

Let’s start in the kitchen. A clean and organized kitchen can make it easier for you to find healthy foods and supports efficient meal planning.

Three Tips to Organize Your Kitchen For Weight Loss:

  1. Make produce prominent: You are 30% more likely to choose the first food you see compared to the second. Take produce out of RIP vegetable crispers and stores cut, washed produce in clear containers and store in the center of your fridge.
  2. Hide the unhealthy – Junk food should be inconvenient (or left at the store).  A sweet girl scout recently persuaded my husband to buy 10 boxes of cookies. I hid them in the freezer drawers, and we all forgot about them. Three months later when we remembered they were there, they were easier to pitch. What you don’t see, you don’teat.
  3. Schedule A Cleaning Session:  Scheduling is one of the most powerful tools of habit change. I have many hands opening and closing fridge and pantry doors and these spaces get disorganized quickly. Every other week, I TRY to de-clutter of my kitchen, which includes doing an assessment of what I have on hand, composting food that is on its way out, and wiping down fridge and freezer shelves.

So go ahead, do some spring cleaning and reap the extra energy you have for you.

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.