12 Kitchen Diet Hacks to Lose Weight

Is your kitchen set up to help you achieve your weight loss goals? Do you have the tools to kickstart a healthier lifestyle? If you've answered no to these questions, don't worry; we've got you covered. Learn how to make some quick and easy changes in your kitchen so that cooking and weight loss become easier and less overwhelming. You'll save time and money too.


Use Scoops to Eat Correct Portions

measure grains with scoops
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One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight or get healthier is eating portions that are too large. For example, most of us don't actually measure a single serving of cereal. We just pour cereal into a bowl. Then we add a single serving of cereal to our food journal—when in fact we've probably eaten two to three times that amount.

To eat the correct portions of cereals and grains, keep single serving scoops inside boxes of cereal, rice, oatmeal, and other foods. First, check the nutrition facts label to determine the correct size of a single serving, then get a measuring cup that matches that amount. If you don't want to spend extra money on measuring cups, use a clean plastic yogurt cup with a marking for the correct serving size.


Keep Berries Dry

Avoid high-sugar snacks and eat nutritious and filling berries instead. Raspberries are one of the best foods for people trying to lose weight. But raspberries also tend to get moldy quickly, so some budget-conscious eaters avoid buying them altogether.

The fix: When you buy fresh berries, don't rinse them right away. Put them immediately into the refrigerator to keep them cool and dry. Mold is less likely to form in a dry environment. When you're ready to add berries to your healthy breakfast or snack, rinse them quickly and pat them dry with a paper towel.


Create a Healthy Food Zone

How often do you visit the refrigerator to look for a snack when you're not really hungry? If you're like most people, you do it too often, especially in the evening. There are ways to stop eating at night, but you can also re-organize your refrigerator for weight loss.

There's no need for a major overhaul. This kitchen hack takes five minutes or less. Simply move the high-calorie foods to the back of the fridge and clean out one shelf near the front for satisfying, lower-calorie snacks, such as fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, and ready-to-eat vegetables. That way you'll see them first when you open the refrigerator door.

If you live with people who aren't trying to lose weight, ask them to respect your "healthy food zone" so that you always have smart snack options available.


Use a Food Scale

A great way to keep portion sizes in check is to purchase a digital food scale. This can help you to serve accurate portions as well as track nutrients accurately in your food log.

Many people keep the scale in a cabinet. However, you are more likely to use it if you keep it on the counter in plain sight. Put a small lightweight plastic container on top so you can quickly measure things like grains, cereals, and ingredients for recipes. Make sure you zero out the scale before you measure.


Make Snack Packs

Healthy snacking is essential if you want to lose weight. This hack takes a little extra time in the beginning, but saves both time and money in the long run. It will also help you keep your calorie count in control to lose weight faster.

Instead of buying expensive (and often unhealthy) snack packs at the store, make your own 100-calorie snack packs at home with healthy foods you love: nuts, seeds, popcorn, carrots, celery, and so on. Get all of the ingredients, and a package of snack-size resealable bags, when you do your weekly grocery shopping. Then prepare a week's worth of healthy snacks all at once.

Keep your healthy snack packs on the healthy food shelf that you created in the refrigerator or place them in the front of your cupboard so they are the first thing you see when you're hungry.


Stock Up on Mushrooms

If you like to eat savory foods with ground meat, you'll love this simple kitchen tip. You can use mushrooms to double your ground meat and cut calories when you cook.

Keep finely diced mushrooms in the refrigerator. When you cook meat, add the same amount of mushrooms to double the amount that you cook. For example, if you cook one cup of ground beef, add one cup of finely chopped mushrooms to the pan with the meat. After cooking the mixture, put aside half to freeze and use later.

If you don't care for mushrooms, you can achieve a similar result with whole grains. Add cooked barley, bulgur, or another whole grain to ground meat to boost fiber, vitamins, and minerals and reduce fat.


Reduce Calories With Stock

Smart cooks know this tried-and-true kitchen hack: You can reduce calories when you sauté meat or vegetables by using stock instead of oil. 

You'll find chicken stock in most grocery stores, but you can use vegetable stock or any flavor you prefer. Choose a low-sodium stock.

Use a non-stick pan and instead of adding oil, simply warm up a small amount of stock and add the food you want to cook. If you don't sauté often, freeze small amounts of stock in ice cube trays so that you always have some on hand to use.

You can also sauté onions, garlic, and spinach for egg-white omelets. The veggies absorb plenty of flavor without any added fat or calories.


Freeze Bananas

Bananas are the basis for many weight loss smoothie recipes. But bananas ripen and go bad quickly, and many recipes only use a half banana to keep the calorie count in control. So how do you keep bananas on hand without wasting all those extra halves? You can freeze bananas to save time and money.

To freeze, peel five to seven ripe bananas and cut them in half. Then take the halves and lay them out on a cookie tray. Place the entire tray in the freezer for about an hour. Make sure the tray stays flat so the bananas don't roll together. Remove the tray, put the bananas into a freezer bag, and place the bag back in the freezer. The bananas won't stick together in the bag and you'll always have a fresh banana ready for your recipe.


Use Salad Plates to Eat Less

If you want to eat less at mealtime, the trick may be to use smaller plates. Several research studies have found that when people use smaller plates, they take smaller portions of food and eat less overall.

Is this a surefire way to lose weight? No. Some other studies have found no connection between plate size and portion size. But why not give it a try? Use your salad plates instead of dinner plates at mealtime to see if you eat less. At the very worst, you'll have a smaller dish to wash.


Freeze Raw Spinach

Many chefs freeze cooked spinach. You've probably seen frozen cooked spinach in the freezer section of the grocery store. But did you know that you can freeze raw spinach? Not only does it freeze well, but it actually works better in green smoothies.

Buy large bags of spinach to use in egg-white omelets and in healthy smoothie recipes (along with frozen bananas). Secure the bag with a rubber band and toss the whole bag into the freezer.

The spinach leaves freeze separately so it's easy to grab the exact amount that you need when you're ready to use the spinach. Then it's easy to throw the spinach into a sauté pan or blender, and you save money by not wasting food.


Remove Eggshells With No Mess

Getting enough protein can help you lose weight. Protein is satiating because it activates leptin, a hormone that regulates feelings of fullness. If you keep a bowl of hard-boiled eggs in your refrigerator, eating the right amount of protein each day is easy. But peeling those eggs can be a pain.

To remove eggshells with no mess or hassle, add baking soda or vinegar to the water when you boil the eggs. And be sure to plunge the eggs into a pot of ice water when they are done cooking. These two tips should make it easier to remove the shells.

Remove the yolk of a hard-boiled egg and add low-calorie hummus for a quick and savory snack. You can also chop egg white and add it to cottage cheese to boost protein value, or add an egg to salads or sandwiches.


Drink Weight Loss-Friendly Wine Portions

Many cooks like to drink wine when they prepare dinner. The problem is that it is easy to drink too much wine when you're not paying attention. A single serving of wine is only five ounces, and many wine glasses have room for twice that amount.

Wine glasses by brands like Livliga® solve that problem. The glasses have an elegant design that shows you where to fill the glass for a 4- or 6-ounce pour. The glasses come in sets of four and sell for about $50.

Need a cheaper option? You can also save the free wine glass you're given on your next wine tour. Most wineries give you a glass to take home when you do a tasting. The glasses are usually smaller and have text on the front of the bowl. You can use the markings to note where a single serving of wine should be poured.

A Word From Verywell

All of these kitchen hacks are designed to help you have healthy, low-calorie foods available at all times so that you can make the best decisions to lose weight. But remember that weight loss only happens when you create the right balance of calories in and calories out.

Organize your kitchen with these simple tips, then eat better and exercise daily to get the weight loss results you deserve.

3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Mattes R. Energy intake and obesity: ingestive frequency outweighs portion size. Physiol Behav. 2014;134:110-118. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.11.012

  3. Robinson E, Nolan S, Tudur-Smith C, et al. Will smaller plates lead to smaller waists? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect that experimental manipulation of dishware size has on energy consumption. Obes Rev. 2014;15(10):812-821. doi:10.1111/obr.12200

By Malia Frey, M.A., ACE-CHC, CPT
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.