When you're looking for a snack right now, you'll almost never decide "Let's cut and peel some carrots and open that hummus in the back!" You'll reach for what's easiest. Fight your food tendencies by re-stocking your fridge like a vending machine.
Photo by armigeress.
Dietician Betsy Bertin writes in the Chicago Tribune about the dual waste of unused produce and other healthy items that we buy but never put to good use. It adds weight to grocery bills and breaks down your enthusiasm when you have to chuck a whole head of lettuce. To get past the pain, start making yourself individual portions and prepping your healthier food in advance:
Give your fridge shelf appeal. It may be customary to stock the fruits and vegetables in the bins at the bottom of the refrigerator, but I say that's a bad idea. If the good stuff is hidden, you're less likely to see it and eat it. It's estimated that more than $US10 dollars a week per household is wasted on produce that has gone bad - and that's usually because it's out of sight. Use the bins for meats and deli items, and keep the healthy fruits and vegetables at eye level. When looking for a snack, you're more likely grab the first item you see. Also give prominent shelf space to healthy snacks like hummus and peanut butter.
It's not an "easy" hack, by any means — you'll have to spend a bit more time after your shopping trips, prepping and arranging. But you'll feel far less compelled to buy those kettle chips "just in case", and you'll see less food go out the door untouched.
Your refrigerator is your friend, if stocked with healthful foods [Chicago Tribune]