Your food environment can set you up for success or it can make healthy living a struggle. Last week, we gave you a checklist for your countertops and your pantry. In part TWO of the spring cleaning series, we have a checklist for your FRIDGE.
It’s all about visibility and convenience. The most visible foods are the ones we eat first. Research tells us that we are 3 times as likely to eat the first thing we see then the 5th. So, if there is any question at all, you’re going to choose that piece of chocolate that is front and center of your fridge instead of the veggies hidden in the back or in a drawer – the beer drawer as Lucy calls it. =)
Here are 6 fridge-hacks that will make your fridge your friend. You can choose to do them all or tackle one at a time, it’s up to you!
1. Take the veggies out of the crisper drawers and place them at eye level. Put the less healthy items in the drawers. When people did this for just one week, they reported eating almost 3 x as much produce as they did the week before.
2. Better yet, cut them up first. Making fruits and vegetables convenient to grab-and-go increases your chance of eating them. Keeping a bunch of oranges in your fridge is one thing, but cutting them up so they can be devoured quickly makes them even more attractive.
3. Keep foods you want to eat in clear packages and at eye level. If you want to eat your salad or your vegetable leftovers the worst thing you can do is put them in aluminum foil. Instead, use clear containers that make the food visible.
4. Keep foods that you don’t want tempting you, wrapped in foil and placed in the back. Same concept as above, we eat what we see. Maybe you still have some girl scout cookies or a whole pie in your fridge that you don’t want to eat. Wrap them up and send them to the back so they are out of sight, out of mind.
5. If you are a soda drinker, moderation is important. Keep 2 or fewer cans in the fridge. This slows down how much you drink because warm soft drinks aren’t as tempting. You could even keep sodas in the garage or some other inconvenient place.
6. Always stock at least 6 single-serving, easy-to-grab, nutritious snacks. Snacks containing lean protein will sustain and satisfy you like cottage cheese cups, Greek yogurt, cheese sticks, and boiled eggs. Other great snack options are single servings of hummus, guacamole, and nut butter for pairing with your precut veggies.
Any easy way to eat 3x as much produce: keep the veggies out of the drawers and put them at eye level instead.
*These suggestions are based off research from Brian Wansink, author of Slim By Design.
Food for thought:
- Which fridge-hacks will help you the most and why?
- Have you already implemented these tricks?
- What worked well for you? Tell us in the comments below.