Trying to Lose Weight? Tidying Your Kitchen Could Help.

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Lucy Hewett)

There are a lot of variables to consider when it comes to losing weight, but Cornell University has discovered a new one that you probably haven’t thought of. According to a recent study, it turns out that keeping your kitchen tidy could make a contribution toward achieving your weight-loss goals.

Curious about how an environment might contribute to healthier eating choices, scientists at Cornell University devised an experiment. They prepared two kitchens, one neat and one cluttered, and asked participants to enter one. Each of the 100 participants was asked to write about either a time when they felt in or out of control. They were then presented with a tray of carrots, crackers, and cookies, and told to eat as much as they like.

When the results of the study were compiled, there seemed to be a relationship between cleanliness and calories consumed. Of the women who wrote about feeling out of control, the ones sitting in the cluttered kitchen tended to eat about double the calories from cookies as those who sat in the tidy kitchen. Those who sat in the messy kitchen and wrote about a time they felt in control tended to eat fewer cookies than their cluttered-kitchen counterparts — about 38 calories total.

While the study did not directly measure stress levels and how they contribute to unhealthy eating choices, it does seem to show that a messy kitchen — and we’re talking dishes by the sink, mail on the counter cluttered (not crazy Febreeze commercial cluttered) — can lead to poor dietary choices.

Have you noticed that a messy kitchen or home makes you eat more? I’ll certainly be paying more attention now. Just after I get to cleaning up my kitchen from last night’s dinner, of course!