Struggling to lose weight? Is your kitchen consistently cluttered?
It turns out the cleanliness of your kitchen may have a direct impact on your weight loss efforts.
Recent research suggests that how you organize your kitchen and display your food – both healthy and unhealthy – can impact your weight loss efforts. It’s not just about keeping the cookie jar out of sight, either. Some of these triggers can easily sneak up on you.
To help you avoid tricky triggers and successfully slim down, use these dietitian-approved tips to tidy up your kitchen.
Declutter Your Counter
Clutter always seems to find a way to creep into our lives and onto our countertops. Disorderly kitchens create distractions, and distractions can create emotional triggers that cause us to eat impulsively and make poor food choices. A study done at Cornell University found that people with messy, chaotic kitchens consumed an average of 103 more calories than those who felt more in control of their kitchen organization. 
Another study performed by the Journal of Psychiatry Research showed that people with cluttered counters and hoarding tendencies were three times more likely to be overweight or obese than people with well-organized kitchens. The untidy group was also more likely to suffer from anxiety and other mood disorders.
Besides kitchen tools and a few healthy snacks, you should always clear off your kitchen counter! Don’t rush the process, either. Set some time aside to organize your kitchen properly. Clear off your shelves, clean out your fridge, collect your old receipts and put them in a box. By the time you’re done, everything should have a dedicated place to live. With your newly decluttered counter, you’ll be able to focus on your weight loss efforts without being distracted by messy paper piles or tempting treats. 
Hide Snacks with Empty Calories
Having processed foods, such as cookies, pretzels and potato chips, in easy-to-reach spots can force you to rely more heavily on self-control and wreak havoc on the number of calories you eat per day.
Research tells us that people who leave unhealthy processed foods, like cereal, candy and soft drinks, on their counter are more likely to be overweight than those who do not. One study found that when people left candy out in visible areas, they ate an average of 2.2 more pieces of candy per day. They also underestimated the total amount of candy they had consumed.
The laws of temptation don’t just apply to sweets and snacks either! Even keeping olive oil next to your stove can cause you to use more than necessary when cooking. Take control of your kitchen, and put your empty-calorie snacks away in a cabinet or hide them in hard-to-reach spots. Or, to eliminate any room for error, don’t buy them at all! 
Organize Your Kitchen with Intention
In addition to keeping unhealthy snack options out of sight (and out of mind!), it also helps to place healthy snacks in strategic spots.
Studies show that we’re more likely to grab the first foods we see. To set yourself up for healthy snacking success, open the pantry or cabinet where you store your snacks. Then, identify the spot your eyes immediately look and place a healthy snack option there.
Another way to arrange your pantry for a weight loss diet is to use clear containers for healthy food and opaque containers for not-so-healthy food. Research shows that placing snacks and junk food in opaque containers can significantly decrease the amount you consume.