When it comes to changing your habits and eating healthier, one thing to remember is when you’re hungry or bored, that what you see is what you will grab. This is why you hear the dieting tips about not leaving cookies and other treats on the counter or in easy access, because you will be more tempted to eat them.
This is not about saying “no” to certain foods, but in understanding what your body is truly craving, and not just what appeals to you because you keep seeing it right in front of you.
Keep Your Fruit Bowl on the Counter
This is probably a tip you have heard before, but it bears repeating. If you have fruit in your house, keep it on the counter where you will see it! There have been many studies done, including at the Google corporate offices, where if you leave out healthy snacks on the counter, people are more likely to grab them.
This is all about cravings and convenience. Sometimes you just have a craving for a cookie, and will go searching until you find it. But when you are bored or in a hurry and just want a quick snack, you are much more likely to just grab something you see right in front of you.
Put Your “Treats” in a Place You Don’t Go To Often
As for foods you consider treats, like cookies, chips, crackers, and baked goods, try to keep them out of easy reach. They don’t need to be hidden so far you can’t get to them, because that might make them feel “forbidden”, which may cause them to be n your mind more than they should. Just put them in a place where you don’t see them every time you walk past the kitchen or open the fridge.
For example, instead of having a cup or chocolates out in the open, put them in a drawer that you will have to actively go to to get, rather than having them be a “quick grab” as you walk in the kitchen or walk by the coffee table.
The less you see them, the less inclined you will be to grab chips or a cookie or brownie every time you are in the kitchen filling up your water bottle.
If the treats are more difficult to get, then it has to be a n=intentional choice to grab a treat rather than one of convenience.
Leave Your Healthiest Food in a Place You Go to Often
You probably know your personal habits the best when it comes to your kitchen and pantry. Think about the places you tend to go to first for a snack or meal, like opening the fridge or looking in your cabinets, and place the healthiest options up front or at eye level.
Keep the healthier ingredients and meals at the front of your cabinets and your refrigerator. If you have treats in the fridge or freezer, keep them in a drawer or behind all your frozen produce and healthy meats.
Making these small changes allows you to have intention and more control over what you eat. Small changes can lead to big results. If you are in a place that you are making changes to your diet or just in weight “maintenance-mode”, having health food readily available will give you a healthy advantage.