17 ways to skinny up your fridge
Yeah, yeah, you know that late-night spoonfuls of peanut butter can pack on pounds. But did you realize that how you organize your refrigerator could be working against you, too? Make your icebox an ally with our pros' tricks.
by Leslie Barrie
Put snack pairings together
"I keep foods that are smart snack combos (natural almond butter and apples, or low-fat cottage cheese and celery) close to each other. This reminds me of the good snack options I have and makes it really fast to assemble them."
—Kristin McGee, yoga instructor and Health contributing editor
Hydrate your herbs
"Place herbs like parsley and cilantro stems-down in a cup of H2O and cover with a plastic bag. The water keeps them fresh longer (just change it every few days). Seeing the herbs will make you want to cook with them—a good thing, as they add flavor but hardly any calories or sodium."
—Kathy Kaehler, celebrity trainer and founder of Sunday Set-Up, a healthy-eating club
Pick minis for trigger foods
"If you love avocados, say, but don't want to overdo it, store serving-size containers of guacamole on a middle shelf. Guac is full of healthy fat and great in taco salad or for dipping veggies. You can get portion sizes of cheese and chocolate, too."
—Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet
Move back your comfort foods
"Put less healthy meals, such as macaroni and cheese, in opaque containers. Then hide them behind your healthy stuff so they're not as top-of-mind."
—Jessica Fishman Levinson, RDN, author and nutrition consultant
Store cooked grains
"When I have a container of precooked grains, like barley or quinoa, I put a half-cup measuring cup inside. Grains can be difficult to eyeball, so using a measuring cup to scoop out a portion prevents me from serving more than I need."
—Cynthia Sass, RD, Health's contributing nutrition editor
Stock backup vegetables
"Storing jarred veggies, like roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and pickled beets, on a shelf in the fridge is ideal when your week is crazy busy. They're perfect additions to salads and soups and don't require any prep time."
—Stephanie Middleberg, RD, New York City nutritionist
"All-veggie salsas are filled with flavor and nutrients but contain very few calories, and you can top more than just tacos with them—for example, turkey burgers or potatoes."
—David Katz, MD, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center and author of Disease-Proof
Stash a multitasking condiment
"Grainy Dijon mustard is low-calorie and adds a savory, rustic flavor. Use it in salad dressings and marinades and in place of some—or all—of the mayo called for in a recipe (say, for tuna salad)."
—Jessica Fishman Levinson. RDN
Lighten up juice
"Cut it with seltzer water to slash calories (the fizz keeps it from tasting boring). Right when you get home from the market, fill a pitcher one-third of the way with juice and two-thirds of the way with seltzer."
—Kelsey Nixon, author of Kitchen Confidence