There are your usual suspects that will help you to lose weight in the kitchen. You know all about strategies like stocking your fridge with veggies and fruits, eating a big salad and ditching unhealthy foods. Let’s explore what else can be done.
#1 – Uncover food sensitivities
You might know that common foods like milk, wheat, eggs, peanuts and soy are on top of the list that can cause food allergies. But did you know that basically all foods have the potential to cause food sensitivities? Especially when consumed day after day without any variety? In my case it was the innocent looking kiwi and pineapple.
What makes food sensitivities difficult to deal with is that symptoms usually do not appear immediately but with a delay of 12-48 hours. Food intolerances challenge the immune system and can make losing weight difficult.
Trying to identify trigger foods can be tough. You can experiment with the principles of the elimination diet or get an IgG food allergy blood test. However, try to add more variety into your diet especially fresh vegetables and fruits.
#2 – Expose your taste buds to new flavors
Not only your immune system benefits from a wider variety of foods. The brain likes to run efficiently on autopilot what it does when we eat familiar things. If we add a new taste or texture to our diet our brain has to deal with all the new incoming data. That way we are focused on what we eat. And being conscious and mindful can help us to eat healthier.
When was the last time you had eggplant, arugula, radishes or broccoli sprouts? Become a pioneer and pick strange-looking foods from the produce section. Challenge the checkout girl to see if she can identify kohlrabi and punch in the right code.
Tastes funny? Give yourself some time. Taste buds renew themselves every 10 days to 2 weeks.
#3 – Make your own baked goods
We all love baked goods. There is nothing better than a fluffy delicious looking cinnamon bun covered with melting icing from our favorite bakery. The second the delight hits your taste buds all worries are gone.
Unfortunately, commercially baked goods are often made with refined carbohydrates that can trigger food cravings many hours later. We just need to keep eating them.
Replacing these foods that are high in concentrated sugars with healthier homemade alternatives can help to control the urge to overeat. Try a new Paleo diet recipe. Lovely piecrusts, delightful muffins and even tasty bread can be made with grounded almonds or flax and coconut flour just to name a few ingredients.
#4 – Start your meal with soup
- Homemade soup has so many benefits.
- It’s a super quick meal.
- When pureed it’s a great way to introduce your taste buds to new vegetables (see #2). The pureeing also makes it easy to digest.
- Because you are consuming the cooking water, you’re not spilling out nutrients.
Some vegetables like carrots are more nutritious when cooked
- The minerals from bone broth are easily absorbed.
- It tames your appetite because it contains so much water and fills you up with fewer calories.
What’s better then a hot bowl of soup, not only on a cold fall day?
#5 – Plan your meals
Having a meal plan is one important key to success. Don’t just wing it. When you write down what you are going to eat, you will make healthy choices and can shop accordingly. And having a clue what you’re serving for dinner not only eliminates last minute stress but also might safe you time and money.
And this goes hand in hand with #2. We have all been there. We’ve finally had the courage to pick up this weird looking vegetable and then it sits on the counter and rots because we don’t know what to do with it. Incorporating it into your meal plan makes sure our bravery was not wasted.
#6 – Size, weight, shape and color of cutlery matters too
We all know that we are apparently eating less when foods are served on smaller plates. But according to a study done in 2013 from the University of Oxford cutlery influences food flavors as well.
One finding was that food was perceived as more tasty when it was eaten with heavier cutlery on heavier plates.
While this finding should not encourage you to swap to unromantic and unhealthy plastic knifes and forks, it just shows you that your perception of taste can be influenced by factors you never thought of. If you are up for an experiment than get different cutlery at the Thrift store and conduct your own study.
#7 – Re-organize the treats drawer
I’m not saying that you should switch the location of your cat’s most favorable treats with the location of your most favorable treats. But sometimes we seem to reach into the cookie jar without us actually noticing. The end result is that “someone” often referred to as “our imaginary friend” has emptied the bag of potato chips without sharing.
We are creatures of habit. So it is a good thing to break the habit loop and become aware of our remote and automatic actions. We then can try to control those snacking tendencies and create a new pattern, like reaching for fresh sugar snap peas or an apple topped with almond butter instead.
#8 – Get a workout in
Did you consider your kitchen as a great workout zone? Do you sit down while cutting veggies? Standing and walking not only is better for your posture but also burns more calories. You have to find the bowl that lives way back in the bottom shelve cupboard? Do some extra squats while you’re down there. The kitchen counter is wonderful for push-ups. And a great music channel just might get some extra dance moves out of you. Zumba with your zucchini!