Did you know that we have a food radius? According to the book Slim by Design, we purchase and consume 80% of our calories within 5 miles of our home. The primary environments are home, office, dine-in, fast food, and the grocery store. If we make subtle changes in these places we can tip the scale in our favor. Research shows people make 200 decisions related to food and beverages DAILY due, in large part, to advertisements and other cues in our environment (i.e. television, radio ads, billboards, magazines). Here are four makeovers that can help minimize the cues that lead to unhealthy eating habits:
1. Kitchen Makeover:
- Make your kitchen less “loungeable.” The kitchen often becomes a hangout space, but this can quickly lead to over-eating.
- Make tempting foods invisible and inconvenient. If you buy sweets or unhealthy snacks, store them up high or somewhere that is not easy to access. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Make it easier to cook. Provide yourself with the right tools to prepare quick and simple meals.
2. Restaurant Makeover:
- Order a to-go box with your meal and box half of the food BEFORE you eat.
- Sit with your back to dessert displays, the bar, or the buffet.
- Sit near a window or at a regular table. Avoid sitting in the bar or in a booth.
3. Office Makeover:
- Do not keep food at your desk.
- Pack your lunch from home.
- Put fruits and vegetables on your plate first at work; it sets a healthy tone.
4. Grocery Store Makeover:
- Shop on the perimeter of the store for your produce, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy. Avoid the middle aisles of the grocery store that house the chips, snacks, and sugary drinks.
- Divide your cart in half with something (i.e. jacket) and designate half the cart for produce. If that half of the cart is empty, you will have a visual reminder to rethink what is in your cart.
- If possible, check out in a lane that does not have candy or soda at the counter.
Take a healthy trip to the grocery story with one of my colleagues in this video:
Our health has so much to do with the environment in which we live. We have the power to change it and surround ourselves with spaces that supports our healthy lifestyle. Post a comment and tell us what you do to makeover your healthy home or office.