WHAT’S going on outside the fridge might be as important to your weight-loss goals as what’s inside it.
New research from the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University has found that many triggers for mindless, unhealthy eating involve how your kitchen is organised and decorated.
“The food on our counters, the smells in the kitchen, the lighting in the room and even the colour of the walls can contribute to obesity,” says the study’s co-author, professor Andrew S Hanks. Here, he shares tips for a healthy diet by design.
KEEP A BLENDER ON YOUR COUNTER
“When you have that craving for something sweet, the blender might just serve as a reminder that healthy fruit smoothies can satisfy that urge.”
KEEP BREAD IN FRIDGE
“Bread can be a healthy snack, but if eaten too frequently, it will lead to extra pounds. Keep the fruit on the counter and put the bread away so the lower calorie snacks are easier to grab.”
COVER HIGH-CALORIE ITEMS WITH FOIL AND THE MORE NUTRITIOUS ITEMS WITH TRANSPARENT WRAP
“Hiding temptations can help you remember to eat fruits and vegetables. This can keep you from eating 120 extra calories a day.”
KEEP A JUG OF FLAVOURED WATER
“Water infused with fruit can satisfy our craving without loading us down with extra calories. Compared to soda, drinking water can save you 100 calories per eight ounce glass of fluid.”
SERVE DINNER FROM THE STOVE INSTEAD OF AT THE TABLE
“People who use this strategy eat 19 per cent less food, which can be beneficial to the waistline in the long run.”’
DIM YOUR KITCHEN LIGHTS
Doing so can help you “eat more mindfully — resulting in 175 fewer calories per meal.”
PAINT YOUR KITCHEN IN NEUTRAL TONES
“Brighter tones cause us to feel anxious so we eat faster; darker tones relax us so we take more time to eat and might eat more. A neutral colour can help avoid either extreme.”
USE AIR FRESHENERS
“Clean, fresh scents most likely will not trigger our memories of delicious foods or spark a craving for something sweet — helping us avoid unnecessary snacking.”