Trying to lose a few pounds can be difficult but making small changes around your home can encourage weight loss that lasts. One game changer can be switching up your kitchen design, as well as how you store food. This week, we will explore 5 of the ways you can make your kitchen work for you.

1. An empty fridge isn’t the answer

You may think emptying your fridge of everything except celery will force you to avoid calorie temptation, but this common diet pitfall just sets you up for failure by tempting you to order takeout.

The no-food-in-the-house strategy is especially impractical if you have a family—hungry, active kids need after school snacks and high-calorie fuel for sports, along with the standard three meals a day. A steady diet of take-out can make the whole family unhealthy and overweight.

Instead of an empty kitchen, a more realistic approach is to store a range of quick, healthy snacks. It’s even okay to have a treat like dark chocolate on hand but keep it out of sight to avoid reaching for it first.

2. Buy ready-made healthy snacks

Lots of folks reach for junk food because it’s so easy and you don’t have to prepare it, but you can have the same convenience with healthy snacks.

Try pre-packaged cheese sticks, unsalted nuts, dried fruit, turkey slices or pre-cut vegetables with to-go hummus packs. Make time on the weekends to prep snacks for the entire week, so all you’ll have to do on busy days is grab and go.

3. Keep a running grocery list in the kitchen

To avoid scrambling for last minute healthy recipes and coming up empty handed, figure out what you’ll prepare each week in advance. Make a list of your favorite nutritious meals and snacks to post on the fridge or keep handy in your coupon drawer. That way, you will have meal ideas that you can easily shop for, so that there’s always a healthy option on-hand.

Make your list, either on paper or in your cell phone, before stepping into a grocery store. If you have all your healthy items written down, it will prevent you from veering down the junk food aisles. Stick mainly to the perimeter of the store, spending a lot of time in the produce department.

4. Make smart choices at warehouse stores

It’s tempting to buy in bulk because it usually means big savings. But wholesale shopping might be costly to your health in the long run since it may prompt you to eat more food than you should. If wholesale shopping is a must for your budget, try re-packaging foods into single-serving baggies as soon as you get home to help with portion control.

Buying in bulk doesn’t have to mean purchasing only junk food and soda. Warehouse stores, like Costco, also carry plenty of healthy options, like frozen vegetables and fruits, lean meats, nuts, seltzer and olive oil.

5. Plate only one portion

The rule of thumb for any snack is to measure out one portion instead of munching straight out of the bag. Then put the remainder away and eat only your serving. If you really want seconds, serve yourself a half portion.

This approach can stop you from mindlessly eating from the container—and having several servings without realizing it.

Stay tuned next week for the final 5 tips on making over your kitchen for weight loss success!