When it comes to losing weight, proper nutrition is essential. And, one of the things that can make it easier to stick to your nutrition plan is how you set up and organize your kitchen.
By filling it with nutritious foods and reducing the amount of junk, you’ll already be leaps and bounds ahead of other individuals trying to lose weight and be one step closer to ultimate success in your transformation challenge.
Today, we outline three key factors for setting your kitchen up for success during weight loss.
#1 Set Your Intention
As with just about any venture in life, the mindset you adopt will greatly affect your performance (and therefore your results), for better or worse.
This holds especially true when trying to instill new healthy habits and lose weight.
How you feel in the kitchen will have a direct and tangible impact on your results. If you feel anxious, frustrated, or helpless in the kitchen, your chances of actually cooking healthy meals and sticking to your nutrition plan are slim to none.
With that in mind, here are some helpful tips to feel good each and every time you step foot in the kitchen:
Keep it tidy: Before you start meal prep, make sure your kitchen and countertops are clean. Walking into a messy kitchen is demotivating and downright irksome, so much so that you might just throw up your hands and go out to eat. One way to fix this is to never leave dirty pots, pans, or dishes in the sink. Always clean up after cooking and eating. This way, your prep and cook area is always at the ready!
Get in the mood: You’ll be amazed at what the right lighting and music can do for getting your mindset in the right place to be footloose and fancy-free. Michael McDonald, Beyonce, Kenny G, Taylor Swift, Van Halen, etc...whatever you’re feeling, crank the tunes up, take some deep breaths, relax and have fun!
Put healthy food in plain view: When you’re hungry and in the mood to just eat (and not mess around with a bunch of meal prep), you’re going to go for the easiest option. By keeping a stash of healthy foods at the ready, you’re more likely to grab a healthy snack, and thus not overeat. Some options include fresh fruit on the counter and/or sliced veggies and hard-boiled eggs in the fridge.
- Keep Unhealthy foods out of reach/out of the house: Building off of the previous point, if unhealthy foods (hyper-processed, sugary/salty treats) aren’t within arms reach when you enter the kitchen, then you’re less likely to reach for them when you’re hungry. If you do decide to keep “junk” food (chips, crackers, candy, cookies, etc.) in the house, store it in a difficult to reach place (e.g. somewhere you need to use a chair or ladder to reach, such as on top of the cabinets or at the very back of a high up shelf). Yet another option is to keep a stash of 1UP protein bars on hand, so that whenever you’re craving something sweet you can have something that tastes like a sweet treat but actually packs a quality amount of protein, which will help keep you feeling full and support your weight loss and muscle-building goals!
#2 Keep Your Kitchen Organized
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, keeping a clutter-free kitchen is key to utilizing your kitchen to its fullest potential and avoiding those last-second decisions to order takeout or hit the drive-thru.
Plus, having an organized kitchen also enables you to quickly and easily prep, cook, and clean a meal -- all done in less time than it takes to order food and have it delivered to you!
For starters, take stock of what you have in your kitchen. This includes:
- Utensils (forks, spoons, knives, sporks?!)
- Electric cookers (insta-pots, slow cookers, rice cookers, Foreman grills, etc.)
Figure out what you frequently use, and what you don’t. The things that you find yourself coming back to again and again, put in readily accessible areas. The stuff that you use once in a blue moon (bread machines, pasta rollers, etc), you can put in less-readily accessible areas.
#3 Equip Your Kitchen for Success
Having the right equipment can make all the difference in the ease and speed of meal prep. Conversely, if you don’t have the right tools stocked in your kitchen, then it can make even the most basic of meal prep tasks (e.g. peeling carrots, slicing vegetables, etc.) seem interminably long.
Here is a list of kitchen basics for meal prep success:
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board (one for raw meats and one for produce)
- Measuring spoons and measuring cup (both dry and wet measure)
- Food scale (which helps you keep closer track of your calories and macros, making it that much easier to log your food in the 1UP Fitness App)
- Saucepan (hard-boiled eggs, sauces, one-pot mac & cheese)
- Wraps (e.g. foil, cling-wrap, plastic wrap, etc.)
Losing weight and getting healthy is the culmination of several lifestyle habits, including maintaining high levels of physical activity, getting enough sleep, and proper nutrition. Having a properly situated kitchen is a key part of your nutrition plan and staying on track with your diet.
Use the pointers outlined above to help create the perfect kitchen for your needs during your transformation challenge, and if you need extra help figuring out healthy meals to prep or motivation to stay on track with your goals, sign up for the 1UP Nutrition app where you can find out the right calorie intakes for your goals as well as get access to our private group for added motivation, encouragement and tips to achieve your best results (and best body!) ever.1up