How to Clean-out Your Refrigerator for a Fresh Start at Nutrition

Night Hunger: fridge with fruits in dark room

Your refrigerator is one of the most important components to your kitchen. And your kitchen is the heart of your home! Keeping your fridge clean, organized and stocked appropriately will build your foundation for good nutrition and health. That means your weight-related goals should follow.

Is Your Refrigerator Healthy?

What does that question mean, really? A healthy fridge should help you reach your weight-loss and maintenance goals — not sabotage your efforts. Take a look inside of yours. Is it messy, disorganized and/or full of “junk?” If so, you may need a fridge makeover.

A healthy refrigerator helps you make the best decisions for your health. It should be clean, organized and set-up so that nutritious foods are front and center.

Step 1: The Purge

If you’re ready for a fridge makeover, start by taking an honest look at what’s inside. Then, take everything out and set all items on your counter. Before you put anything back, question whether or not you need that item. Try to throw away any and all items that are:

  • Expired, curdled or rotten
  • High in fat and sugar
  • No longer useful or desired

You will probably discover that many “throw away” items include condiments (mayonnaise and barbecue sauce), salad dressings, sodas, artificially-sweetened fruit juices, processed jams/jellies, old and/or processed meats, pasteurized cheese products and even dinner leftovers.

Step 2: Make it White Again

Refrigerators get dirty. Bottles spill, containers leak and old produce attracts bugs. Remove all drawers and shelves and scrub them to remove any residue. Wipe down the interior walls and then reassemble. Don’t forget your freezer! Messes happen there, too.

Step 3: Get Organized

It’s time to organize the items you have left. It may help to designate certain shelves and drawers for specific food items. For example, you may group cheese and deli meats together in a drawer while placing all beverages on the top shelf. Fruits and veggies do great in the crisper.

There’s a rhyme and reason to this method. It helps you find things faster so you’re less tempted to grab the first items from your fridge that you see. Try to put all of your healthiest, most nutritious foods out in the open so you always see them when you look inside.

Step 4: Go Shopping!

Now it’s time to stock your fridge with items that will aid you in your weight management journey. Stock-up on lean meats, low-fat cheeses, protein-rich foods and lots of fruits and vegetables. Keep a list on your fridge that plans out your meals for the week. Keep it organized!

Remember, healthy nutrition starts in your kitchen. Aside from your pantry, your fridge is the “hub” for all things nutrient-related. Invest in it if you want to invest in your weight and health!

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