My husband loves to have dessert in the house. Whenever he goes shopping he comes home with cookies, candy, or ice cream. He places the items on top of the refrigerator or on the counter in plain sight. As a dietitian I hated having these items in the house because I was the one who ended up eating most of it and not my husband. I would tell myself not to have any and then I would over indulge in a moment of weakness. Most people think that dietitians have “self restraint” and would steer clear of these items, but we have cravings and urges just like everyone else . Through my research I realized that by telling myself I could not have something I was creating a deCandy Drawersire for it even more. I eventually embraced my husband’s dessert purchasing and created a “Candy Drawer.”
We tend to eat more of what we see and desire what we can’t have. Instead of having desserts on the counter or on top of the fridge, I have now created a special drawer for them. Every time we purchase sweets I place the items in the designated “Candy Drawer.” At first I ate the items more frequently, but now it is “old news.” If I get a sweet tooth I know where to find the goodies, but I no longer think about it, or get nervous that I am going to over indulge. I have taken the taboo out of eating sweets and now enjoy the time when I choose to eat them. By placing them in the drawer out of sight, I am no longer eating them mindlessly. If you enjoy your sweets, I encourage you to try the same. You are freeing your mind of dieting and embracing intuitive eating concepts.
Utilizing the idea that “you eat what you see,” I have placed nutrient rich food items such as fruits, whole grains, nuts and vegetables in plain sight. On the counters I have placed fruits and nuts so I can easily grab them when I am hungry or on the go. Instead of hiding my vegetables behind opaque drawers in my fridge I have them on the shelves so I remember to eat them. If you have time, you can precut and wash your vegetables prior to putting them in the fridge so you can easily prepare them during the week.
Creating a “Candy Drawer” is a great way to develop a healthy relationship with food. In addition, having nutrient rich food in sight is a good technique to incorporate them more into your life. Even though it might seem scary at first to have a “Candy Drawer” you might be surprised at how fast you feel comfortable with them in your house, You will be giving these desserts less power over you. I would love to hear your stories with this technique.