Habits of Healthy Eaters: Out of Sight, Out of Mouth

By , SparkPeople Blogger
A couple of years ago, my grandparents sold their second home, which meant they suddenly had an extra home full of stuff to give away or sell. Among the nifty items that became mine were a German cuckoo clock, a rocking chair, a decade's worth of Bon Appetit magazines--and Tupperware. Lots of Tupperware.

My grandmother stores all her dry goods in clearly labeled opaque Tupperware or ceramic canisters. Not only did it keep her cupboards organized, but it kept little hands from reaching into the cookie jar when the grandkids were little.

After inheriting her extra set, I realized that Gramma was onto something.

I planned to use my canisters for storing dry goods, just like Gramma does, but I realized that I could also use them for storing foods that might tempt me: chocolate chips for baking, chips, cookies, etc. Not only would the streamlined containers take up less space in my small kitchen, but they would also keep temptations out of sight.

I recently read a story about nixing food cravings. Among the tactics that worked for one chocolate addict: replacing the M&Ms in her candy bowl with marbles. According to that same story, "To avoid dying in a famine, the brain is wired to pick up on signs that calorie-rich foods are nearby, which helps explain why that piece of cake on the plate in front of you is so irresistible, or why seeing a sign for a doughnut shop draws you in even when you know you need to watch your diet."

What else can you do to put healthy food at the forefront--and banish junk to the shadows?
  • If you're tempted by the sight of junk food, put it away! Take the candy bowl off the living room table. Fill the one at your desk with a healthy alternative like gum, fruit or nuts--unless those are a trigger food for you. (By the way, I remember that my grandparents used to have a candy bowl that had a lid. Again, Gramma knows best--that lid hid temptations!)
  • Keep non-perishable fruits and vegetables food front and center. Fill a large bowl with fruit and place it somewhere you'll pass by several times a day: on the kitchen counter or on the table. (Learn which fruits and vegetables need to be refrigerated and which ones can be stored on the counter.)
  • When organizing your pantry of cupboards, keep healthy snacks at eye level--the opposite of what supermarkets do! In the fridge and freezer, keep the good stuff up front and center and put treats in a place that's out of the way. I keep the ice cream in the back corner of the freezer so I have some time to think about whether I really want it.
  • Store healthy foods in glass jars for easy access and inspiration. I love seeing all my grains, dried beans and other staples lined up neatly.
  • Consider stocking up on healthy snacks at work. On Mondays, I bring in several pieces of fruit and place them on top of my filing cabinet. Rather than bring in one piece every day--or risk forgetting a snack--I have a variety of choices from which to choose.
How do you keep healthy foods in sight? Do you use any of these "out of sight, out of mouth" tactics? Share your best tips below.