Is Your Kitchen Making You Fat?

A recent Cornell study revealed that you can predict a person’s weight just by looking at their kitchen. The study sought to examine how the visible and available foods in a kitchen impact the BMI of the people in the household. What they found was a direct correlation between the way you keep your kitchen and your weight.
The specifics of the research showed that your food environment at home is closely linked to your weight and body mass index. Here are some of the pertinent trends the research uncovered:
  • Women in the study who had fresh fruit on their counters tended to be normal weight.
  • In the households with cereals, crackers and snacks on the counters, the people who lived there tended to weigh about 20 pounds more.
  • In homes where soda was readily available, the women there weighed 26 pounds more on average!
  • People whose kitchens were cluttered and messy tend to engage in more stress eating.
Brian Wansick, director of Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab calls this pattern a see food diet where “what you see is what you eat.” Wansick coined the phrase mindless eating to describe the subconscious decisions people make about food based on cues in their home and other environments they spend time in. His research proves that the unhealthy cues and triggers that may be in your home could be sabotaging your diet and fitness goals.

Here are some strategies to cut down on mindless eating in your home:

  • Remove snack food and cereals from your kitchen counters and place them in a pantry or cupboard out of sight.
  • Keep healthy foods like fruits and snackable vegetables within reach, washed and ready to eat.
  • Don’t eat directly from the package. When you do it’s easy to get carried away with “just one more” mentality. Instead portion out your servings into a dish. This gives you a better sense of just how much you’re eating.
  • Use smaller plates. It sounds silly, but it’s true that you can trick your mind into thinking you’re eating more by eating from a smaller plate. It’s all about perception. A smaller plate looks fuller and your brain subconsciously thinks, “I will be satisfied when I finish this plate.”
  • The same holds true for beverages. Pour your drinks into tall, slim glasses to trick your mind into thinking you’re having more. This is especially effective when you’re drinking wine or other heavily caloric beverages.
  • Don’t buy food in bulk. It’s tempting to buy jumbo boxes of food to save money. But Wansick’s research also showed that people who buy super sized foods eat way more of it than they should.

Want some help in revamping your kitchen and stocking your pantry with healthy, whole foods? We are proud to offer customized nutritional counseling programs with licensed nutritionist, Linnea Laverty.

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