A clean and ordered kitchen may offer a boost to those looking to lose weight, a new study suggests.

It is generally understood that a cluttered environment can increase stress levels, and researchers at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab undertook an experiment to determine whether reducing this stress factor could help people avoid snacking.

In a study published in the journal Environment and Behaviour, the researchers split 100 female participants into two groups.

The first group were sat in a messy kitchen, complete with dirty dishes piled up and piles of papers spread around the surface, while the second group were placed in a clean and tidy kitchen.

To focus on the chaotic vs controlled mindset, the first group were also asked to recall and write about a time when they felt particularly out-of-control, while the second group were asked to remember and write about a time they felt notably in-control.

The participants were then offered bowls of biscuits, crackers, and carrots to taste and rate on a scale.

The researchers found that those in the cluttered kitchen with an out-of-control mindset consumed an average of around 100 calories more than those in the tidy kitchens and an ordered mindset, suggesting that surrounding oneself with order could aid in keeping to a diet.

Co-author Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, commented:

“Although meditation, as a way of feeling in control, might be one way to resist kitchen snacking, for some it’s probably easier just to keep our kitchens picked up and cleaned up.”

A tidy kitchen by itself will not help you stick to a diet, but keeping the house clean and uncluttered could help you stay on course to lose weight along with a diet of healthy and nutritious recipes and regular exercise.

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