Friday, December 2, 2011

Kitchen Design And Weight Loss

You’re no doubt familiar with the phrase “You are what you eat.” But how about “You are WHERE you eat.” The foods we eat undoubtedly have an impact on our health, but do the places we cook in have any influence as well?

In an article on, Registered Dietician Sally Kuzemchak discussed 9 areas where the kitchen itself may play some part in weight gain. The areas Kuzemchak cites can be grouped generically into 3 categories: Size, Visual and Enironmental.

Would a smaller pantry help you lose weight?
In the Size category, influencers like large plates and glasses, large pantries and refrigerators, and large overall kitchens are leading us to over-consume. If our plates are bigger we’ll add more food; if our pantries are bigger we’ll store more food and eventually want to eat it; if the kitchen is bigger we’ll move things like televisions into it and spend more time in leisurely activities … like eating in front of the tube (you already know how I feel about that!)

Visual influences in the kitchen are a bit more obvious. If cookies are kept in a clear jar they’re more likely to be eaten. Conversely, if fresh fruits and veggies are hidden they are less likely to become an after school snack.

Environmental issues that impact eating can range from lighting, to how cluttered you keep your kitchen. According to studies, bright lights can raise our stress levels which can lead to over-eating. Lights too dim? This reduces our inhibitions making it more difficult to resist that cupcake … amongst other things. A cluttered countertop makes it more difficult to prepare foods. Apparently if you’re not inclined to keep things tidy, you’re more likely to reach for a frozen pizza.

The difficulty I have with studies like this is they look outwards for the reasons we gain weight … it’s the size of your plate; your kitchen is too bright; it’s too easy for you to see the cookies. There are some really excellent ideas in this article, many of which I have already discussed on Useful Spaces and will continue to integrate into my designs.

The fact is none will help you lose weight if you can’t do one simple thing … quit eating so much!  Use these ideas to help you to that end.  Ask me to help with your kitchen design ... I truly believe that an efficient kitchen will help you eat better.  In the end, the responsibility belongs to each of us.  Not to your plates, not to your fridge.  Not even to your designer.  Trust me, I have a tough enough time resisting that bag of Reese's Pieces myself!


  1. phyllisjanesDec 4, 2011 07:30 PM
    "The fact is none will help you lose weight if you can’t do one simple thing … quit eating so much!" - or go out and exercise more. Yeah I agree with you that it's quite absurd to point fingers at external factors.

    - kitchens webmaster

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