6 kitchen tips to encourage healthier eating habits

Swap bad habits for good with these simple kitchen tips

Smoothie maker

Promising yourself that 2018 will finally be the year you embrace healthier eating habits?

You’re definitely not the only one, but sadly many of us find ourselves falling short of our good intentions when tempting treats get in the way.

Thankfully, there are some simple changes you can make within your kitchen to make it easier to stick to healthy choices and prevent you from slipping back into old habits.

Stay on board

How many times have you heard someone say that you should never shop for food on an empty stomach? Hunger inhibits our ability to make rational long-term decisions, meaning we’re more likely to give in to temptation, so planning ahead before hitting the shops is crucial.

One easy method to encourage forward-thinking is to hang a blackboard or whiteboard in the kitchen. This will help you to pre-plan meals for the week ahead and keep an ongoing shopping list of healthy ingredients you’ll need for each recipe.

Plate up

Did you know that the size of your crockery might have an impact on the amount of food you end up eating each meal time? Research has suggested that using smaller tableware may help you reduce portion sizes, since humans have a tendency to judge quantity by how full a bowl or plate is, rather than how much food it actually contains.

Interestingly, there’s also evidence that people tend to perceive the same dish as tasting sweeter when it’s served on a round white plate, compared to square or black plates. So if you crave something sugary, try serving healthy dessert alternatives on a round white plate to trick your tastebuds into thinking they taste sweeter.

Perfect portions

Beyond limiting the size of your crockery, there are also several effective organisational tips you can follow within your kitchen to better control portion sizes. Try using small tupperware containers or Zip Lock bags to create perfectly-sized packs of smoothie ingredients, pre-prepared stir-fry veggies or soup servings for each day of the week in advance. That way, they’re ready to take out of the freezer and stick straight into the blender, wok or saucepan at a moment’s notice.

Fabulous fruits

Out of sight truly is out of mind, and one of the easiest ways to avoid succumbing to unhealthy snacks is to put them out of view. Instead, keep healthier alternatives like fresh fruit, nuts and natural fruit teas on your kitchen worktop so they’re the first thing that catches your eye when you feel hunger coming on.

If you do want to keep the occasional indulgent treat on hand for special occasions, make sure to store these items at the back of your kitchen cabinets where you won’t constantly come face to face with temptation.

Switch off

It’s all too easy to lose track of how much you’re eating when you’re grazing on snacks while catching up on your favourite TV programme or keeping one eye on your mobile phone while at lunch. Instead, avoid technological distractions in your kitchen and take the time to sit down at the dinner table and really enjoy your meal.

Get technical

Having the right appliances and kitchen tools on hand can take the hassle out of cooking, reducing the likelihood that you’ll find yourself reaching for ready meals and takeaway menus. Blenders are great for making soups and smoothies, electric grills offer a healthy alternative to frying food, while spiralisers and other food preparation gadgets take the effort out of preparing vegetable-rich dinners.

What are your top tips for staying healthy in January? Share your suggestions with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Category: Advice