14 Ways A Kitchen Remodel Can Help You Lose Weight
A kitchen redo can mean sticking to healthy eating—and weight loss—goals
Upgrade your kitchen in a certain way and you'll nosh less and maybe even shed a few pounds. That may sound counterintuitive, but with the right appliances, workspace, and design, you'll cook up new, easy ways to prepare healthy, low-cal meals.
Installing cabinets in the dead space near the ceiling provides storage for your deep fryer, ice-cream maker, and certain other kitchen appliances that should be used sparingly because they might encourage you to prepare less-nutritious food.
Conversely, if you store your salad spinner and rice steamer within reach, you'll be more apt to break them out and whip up a well-balanced meal. Covered countertop storage keeps appliances that tempt you to make healthy meals close at hand, so you'll make a good choice come dinnertime. And you avoid the countertop clutter that makes food prep a pain.
Glass-door refrigerators keep you honest: There's no hiding from the cartons of calorie-laden takeout and beer bottles when they're in plain sight. Colorful, fresh bounty from the farmer's market is far more pleasing to the eye, and it's exponentially healthier for you.
Shown: Sub-Zero PRO 48 with Glass Door, about $16,000; subzero-wolf.com
Who would guess that certain colors can make you feel more—or less—hungry? Turns out that vibrant red tones are said to increase appetite, while cool tones like blue and violet do just the opposite.
The smarter your kitchen work setup, the easier it is to make meals at home. Restaurant fare is typically bigger, fattier, and more expensive than home-cooked meals. And when you make a meal yourself, you know exactly what you're getting. According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, even the lighter-fare meals at many leading chains contain more calories than the restaurants claim.
Your kitchen should have both ambient as well as task lighting so that you can chop veggies safely and avoid food contamination by making sure countertops are cleaned thoroughly.
When food and family are your sole dining focus, you'll eat more mindfully—and reduce the chances of overeating. A study by nutrition researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that women who took small bites, put their utensils down, and chewed each mouthful thoroughly consumed 70 fewer calories than those who didn't. Pace yourself at all three meals a day, and you'll avoid consuming an extra 76,650 calories a year.
If you can't find the nonstick cookware or the lettuce crisper, you won't use them. Cabinet organizers come in all shapes and sizes, so you can keep small-size plates, healthy cooking oils, and other go-to items within easy reach.
Shown: Swing Out Complete System Tall/Pantry Accesories; rev-a-shelf.com
Hang a steel rod on the backsplash to hold a nice set of stainless-steel measuring cups. Buy a fun, colorful food scale and keep it on an open shelf.
Install a bay window or deep window ledge and you'll have room to grow fresh herbs that will enhance the flavor of tofu, veggies, and lean grilled meats. Green and brown thumbs alike can raise them from seeds with this culinary starter set.
Keep your tablet in your kitchen so that you can search for vegetarian recipes, read eat-healthy message boards—and even keep an online food journal at fitday.com. Research shows that dieters who log what they eat every day lose twice as much weight as those who don't.
Investing in high-quality cutlery encourages you to chop, dice, and peel. If counter space is at a premium, install an on-the-wall magnetic strip or drill in an under-the-counter model.
Grilling is a healthier prep technique than roasting, since the fat drips off the meat—and away from your arteries. An indoor stove with grilling capacity lets you grill year-round instead of waiting for the summer months to showcase your skills.