They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and your kitchen should also be at the centre of your weight loss efforts. We’re not just talking about the foods that you choose to stock your cupboards with either, here are 10 clever changes you can make to your kitchen to help you stay slim.

1. Keep healthy foods at the front of your fridge

If unhealthy foods are the first thing you see when you open your fridge or cupboards, then you will be more likely to reach for them as opposed to healthy options. Cornell University researchers found that we are three times more likely to eat the first item we see in the kitchen than the fifth, so keeping healthy foods visible at the front of your fridge could help your weight loss efforts. Chop up fruit and vegetables and keep them in airtight containers at the front of your fridge so that reaching for something healthy is as easily as a grabbing a bag of crisp.

2. Hide less healthy foods out of site

You don’t have to completely banish unhealthy foods from your kitchen, but just as moving healthy foods into view can benefit your eating habits, hiding junk food out of sight can also help you kick the cravings. That’s not to say that you can pretend the apocalypse is coming and stock up your cupboards with junk food, but if you keep the odd treat out of sight, it should stop you from giving into temptation as easily and mindlessly snacking on the first unhealthy thing you see in your kitchen.

3. Make notes on your fridge

If you find yourself opening your fridge door more frequently than you would like, then try to decorate the front of your fridge with motivational quotes and pictures to make you think before reaching for food. If you’re working towards an end goal like losing weight for your wedding for example, then stick a picture of your dress up to maintain motivation. The quotes and pictures will make you think about your progress so far and help you resist any cravings you might be having.

4. Downsize your plates

Another simple kitchen tip to keep you slim is to swap your regular sized plates and dishes for smaller sized versions. A study carried out by Brian Wansink (Cornell University) and Koert van Ittersum (Georgia Institute of Technology), found that a downsizing from 12-inch plates to 10-inch plates resulted in a 22 per cent drop in calories. Smaller plates encourage you to serve smaller portion sizes and can trick your mind into believing you are eating more than you actually are. Also, try to stick to a blue colour scheme with your crockery as the colour is believed to act as an appetite suppressant.

5. Dedicate a place to eat your meals

If you are guilty of standing and eating in your kitchen, then put a stop to this bad habit as it could be seriously damaging your weight loss efforts. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that those who stand up to eat increase their tendency to overeat, whereas those who sit down to eat consume fewer calories. When you sit down to eat your meal, you consume your food slower and pay more attention to what you are eating.

6. Keep your spice rack full

Herbs and spices might not be a kitchen essential for everyone, but if you are looking to cut some calories, a well-stocked spice rack could be exactly what you need. Using herbs and spices in your cooking introduces flavours to the food, without adding any extra calories. Spices such as cayenne, black pepper, ginger and cinnamon can also promote weight loss, so look to include some of these in your cooking.

7. De-clutter your kitchen

If you’re serious about losing weight but your kitchen looks more chaotic than inspiring, then it’s time you had a clear out. Research carried out by Brian Wansink of Cornell University, found that people in cluttered environments eat 44 per cent more snacks than those people in clutter free spaces. Try to follow this simple rule - if it’s not fruit or vegetables, take it off your kitchen counters. The same goes for your kitchen cupboards too, if it takes you twenty minutes to find the ingredients and cookware you need to make a meal then it’s hardly surprising if you’ve been more inclined to order takeaways in the past. Instead, treat your kitchen as a place to prepare food and keep it that way.

8. Cut out distractions when eating

Many people settle in front of the TV when eating their meals, but according to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition , if you eat when distracted, then it can cause you to inadvertently ignore signals from your body that you’ve had enough and therefore result in you consuming more food than you would normally. Don’t let the TV sabotage your dieting efforts and ensure you eat your meals away from distracting items.

9. Move your fridge out of the kitchen

How many times have you grabbed something to eat out of the fridge just because you were passing? We’re not suggesting that you go completely cold turkey and store no food in your house, but if your home allows, try moving your fridge out of your kitchen and into a garage or shed. This simple tip will make you think about how much you actually want that bar of chocolate if you have to go outside to get it. Follow the old saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ - if you can’t see your fridge, you might not think about snacking.

10. Put a vanilla scented candle in your kitchen

If you find yourself searching for a dessert after your evening meal, then try lighting a vanilla scented candle in your kitchen - as the smell has been proven to reduce sugar cravings . A study carried out at St George’s Hospital, London found that patches with a vanilla scent placed on the back of participants’ hands significantly lowered their appetite for sweet drinks and foods. The aroma of vanilla is thought to stimulate the release of serotonin (a hormone in the brain) which promotes feelings of happiness and satisfaction.