“Your messy kitchen could be more of a problem than you think. It may be causing you to overeat. A Cornell University study showed that participants in a cluttered kitchen snacked on twice as many calories as people in a more orderly one, often reaching for sweets instead of healthier offerings such as carrots. One possible reason? The stress you experience in a chaotic environment may interfere with your ability to exercise self-control, researchers suggest.”
By Beth Howard, Jessica Migala and Nissa Simon
July 2016 AARP print magazine
This little nugget was emailed to me by my biggest fan… okay, my mom!
Do you think it’s true — a cluttered kitchen makes people eat too much??? Here’s what I wrote back to my fan, based on what I’ve seen with my clients and what happens with their decluttering choices.
I think that when you get your kitchen in order, you have a heightened awareness of the foods you keep available. You take pleasure in them – their purpose, their flavors, colors, and what you know they taste good with. You practice until you gain mastery at their preparation and presentation. They become like an artist’s paints… Full of potential.
In a cluttered kitchen where no one is in charge, the fresh food goes bad in the drawers; then the bad stuff contaminates its neighbors. When hungry or bored, an eater is more likely to reach for something with factory-installed preservatives. These boxed foods are go-tos because they’re fast, easy, consistent in their lack of aging, and satisfy a craving for crunchy, salty, or sweet pleasures.
Even with a managed, well-stocked kitchen, there’s still portion control to deal with, but at least the baseline is set to healthy choices being prepped and available. Just like everything else in the Turbo Tidy journey… getting rid of kitchen clutter means the opportunity to make better lifestyle choices, beginning the moment the decision to change is made.
Maintenance may take effort, but I have become a much better and resourceful cook since I decluttered. I do regular inventories of the fresh stuff, often doing recipe searches and planning meals around what needs to be eaten. I admit, I still go crazy on Saturday farmer’s market mornings, but overall, I purchase much less food each time I grocery shop. If I don’t know what meal a food is for, I tell myself not to buy it. I can always come back.
So is it the stress caused by a chaotic environment that causes bad choices? Or is it just lack of attention and care to good choices? Either way, cleaning out the cupboards and the fridge pays off on the bottom line.
If you like this post, you’ll want to read does your home welcome you? Sarah Susanka says it should!