The physical aspect of moving is tough work, especially if you don't hire movers, but living in a new place is like turning over a new leaf—particularly in my kitchen.

September 22, 2009


By Tina Haupert
Last weekend, my husband and I packed up and moved to a new apartment closer to the center of Boston. The physical aspect of moving is tough work, especially if you don't hire movers, but living in a new place is like turning over a new leaf—particularly in my kitchen.

The biggest key to my weight-loss success is cooking healthy food at home—and that was only possibly thanks to a well-stocked, user-friendly kitchen. My kitchen was obviously in shambles in the days following our move—and, not surprisingly, I agreed to order greasy takeout pizza as a result. But once the dust settled (literally!) and we began sifting through our boxes, I had the chance to start fresh. Here are three tips for creating a figure-friendly home kitchen.

Flash your fruit
Instead of keeping fresh fruits and veggies in the crisper drawers in the refrigerator where I can't see them, I put my produce in a big, clear container on one of the shelves. Whenever I reach for a snack, that's the first thing I see. I also like to keep pre-cut veggies and fruit near my produce container for those times that I come home ravenous and need something to tide me over until dinner. But don't ignore your crisper completely! That's where I keep my meats and cheeses. I have a soft spot for cheese, but I'm less likely to choose it for a snack when it's out of sight.

And I recently bought a beautiful bowl to display more seasonal produce on my counter. The vibrant colors are a gorgeous addition to my kitchen. Since I spent less money decorating my new space, it's healthy for me—and my bank account.

Be transparent
Instead of wrapping leftovers in tinfoil, I store them in clear plastic containers. Since I try to bring my lunch to work each day, it's a great way to remember exactly what I have on hand, and my lunch is already easily transportable. I also place healthy pantry items, like oats, beans, and peanut butter, at eye-level, easy-to-reach shelves in my cupboard. By giving these foods the most visibility, I'm more likely to reach for them. I store tempting treats—a bag of potato chips, cookies, or chocolate—where I can't see them, like in a top cupboard or a drawer in my fridge. Sometimes I even forget that they're there!

Size yourself up
I'm not willing to sacrifice flavor when I cook—otherwise I'd never stick to my diet. So I look for low-calorie ways to boost the flavor in my favorite healthy dishes. I keep a variety of spices right near my stove. I normally reach for garlic powder, ground ginger, cumin, and sea salt.

I also keep measuring cups and spoons right by my prep area. I used to try to eyeball high-calorie ingredients like oils, butter, and margarine, just like chefs do on cooking shows. But I noticed that I was being way too generous with my estimates and it was costing me—1 tablespoon of olive oil, for instance, has 120 calories! And I scale back calories even further by downsizing the plates and glasses that I use. A regular-size dinner plate encourages me to load it up with food, but a small plate looks full with much less food. Most of the time, I don't even notice that I've scaled back my portion.

Want to make your house even more figure friendly? Stock up on these seven essentials for the dieter's kitchen. And check out these tips on how to make your house a skinny home.

Read Tina's daily food and fitness blog, Carrots 'N' Cake.

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