Plan Basics

Make a Clean Sweep

Clutter = Stress. Ditch one and you'll cut back on the other—and that can help make weight loss easier!

Living in a chaotic or messy house can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. No surprise: It’s hard to focus when so many things are scrambling for attention. And, as your Weekly points out, the stress of living in such surroundings can also affect how well you can manage your weight. Consider: A crowded, disorganized kitchen makes it harder to cook and easier to choose microwave meals, snacks, and other grabbable eats. A bedroom with a bursting closet and dresser means it’s hard to get your gym clothes ready to go. There’s a physiological aspect, too: Increased stress can trigger a greater amount of the hormone cortisol, which may be a factor in obesity.

Bring in the good stuff

Luckily, small single-move changes can make a difference. If you don't bring potato chips into the house, you won't eat them - and if there's someone who does want them in the house, like your kid or spouse, find a spot where you won't see them. Or repackage them in a plain opaque container you label with the SmartPoints® value per serving. If you stock your fridge with cut-up fresh peppers and carrots, you’re less likely to reach for something you don't really want. If you replace your whole milk with skim, you'll start drinking skim. If you put fresh fruit in a bowl on your kitchen table, grabbing an apple for a snack is effortless. Creating a healthy home needn't be hard work. Simply keeping your kitchen counters clear of a lot of stuff can help, too.

Beyond the kitchen

But it's not just your cupboards and fridge that can help you stay on plan. Declutter the den/family room, too. Clear out the snack table and bring in some hand weights and maybe an exercise ball so you can move while you watch TV. Your bedroom is another place where calm can help: People who are consistently sleep-deprived are more likely to be overweight. So create a sleep-inviting haven by putting away clothes and banishing the TV and laptop. Room-darkening shades can help, too. And clear the decks (or desks!) at work.

Oh, kale, yes! (Bacon, too)

Everyone knows that kale is a nutrition powerhouse among leafy greens. And do we have some delicious (cough- bacon- cough) ways to prepare it!