I wanted to share this article with you all because it’s such a great example of how powerfully our home environment can influence us—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

These 8 tips could help make your home environment more thinning

Your house may be a threat to your figure. Add it to the list, cushioned between those extra slices of pizza and forgetting to work out—because experts say the way you design and maintain your home could play a role in whether you pack on the pounds or keep them off.

“You can make your environment work for you instead of against you,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, dietitian and author of The Flexitarian Diet. “There are ways to use your house to successfully watch your weight, rather than relying solely on willpower.”


(Troels Graugaard/iStockphoto)
  1. Open the drapes and turn up the lights: Dark environments are more likely to foster binge eating, say researchers at the University of California–Irvine. That’s because people are often less inhibited and less self-conscious when they’re in dimly lit places—and so more likely to inhale heaps of food with the flair of a speed eater. The researchers describe darkness as a “high-risk environment,” so if your home doesn’t emphasize window light, invest in some decorative lamps and flood the place with brightness.
  2. Don’t forget the clock—or the radio: People who eat slowly tend to consume about 70 fewer calories per meal than those who plow through their meals, Jackson Blatner says—a savings that could amount to 200 calories a day. Often, she says, people are surprised to learn how quickly they finish eating. Begin keeping track of the time, and try to make dinner last at least 30 minutes. And while you’re at it, actually sit down to eat. Grazing while standing can lead to overeating. If you need some help slowing down, turn on relaxing tunes: Research suggests that calm, soothing music eases stress and anxiety, making diners less inclined to rush through a meal.
  3. Turn down the thermostat: Keeping your home too warm could be making you fat, suggests a recent study published in Obesity Reviews. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the prevalence of central heating has increased in step with obesity rates: Exposure to cold causes people to generate their own heat, often by shivering—and that, in turn, helps burn calories. There’s no need for your home to feel like an igloo, but lower the thermostat a tad and your waistline could benefit. Most living rooms in the United States, for example, are heated to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Dropping the temperature to 60 degrees could increase energy expenditure by 100 or 200 calories a day—enough to shed a pound or so over a few weeks.
  4. Downsize those dishes: “Big serving bowls and plates can easily make us fat,” says food psychologist Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. Wansink’s research paints a compelling argument: We eat about 22 percent more when using a 12-inch plate instead of a 10-inch plate. When we choose a large spoon over a smaller one, total intake jumps by 14 percent. And we’ll pour about 30 percent more into a short, wide glass than a tall, skinny glass that can hold the same amount of liquid. Jackson Blatner suggests giving smaller dishes a 7-day trial run: “If you don’t think it helps you, stop doing it. But almost everybody I know agrees that it works like magic,” she says. “It’s kind of shocking how simple it can be.”
  5. Store food strategically: You’re nearly three times more likely to eat healthy food if it’s in your line of sight, a Cornell University study reports. That means keeping fruit, vegetables, and other nutritious options on eye-level shelves in the fridge, and relegating chocolate fudge and chip dip to the crispers. What’s out of sight is out of mind, Jackson Blatner says: “Proximity is a big thing. If you’re looking directly at beer and cheese, that’s what you’re going to eat. You’re more likely to forget those things if they’re hidden away.” And the rule extends beyond the refrigerator: Moving a candy dish six feet away from where someone was sitting, one of Wansink’s experiments showed, reduced the average number of calories the person consumed from 225 to 100.
  6. Color yourself thin: There’s a reason McDonald’s bombards costumers with yellow and red: Research suggests these colors fuel our appetites. In one study, people who dined in a blue room consumed 33 percent less than those in a yellow or red room, according to a report published in Contract, an interior design magazine. Researchers speculate that warm shades like yellow make food appear more appetizing, while blue hues temper our hunger. When it’s time to repaint, go blue—or at least opt for navy silverware and dish sets.
  7. Mirror, mirror—not on that wall: Women who exercise in front of a mirror feel less energized, relaxed, positive, and upbeat than those who can’t see themselves mid-crunch, according to a study published in Health Psychology. Enough factors already affect our motivation to work out; no need to add another. Limit mirrors to areas where they’re absolutely necessary.
  8. Spritz the smartest scents: Research suggests that certain aromas can make your waistline as happy as your nose. Jasmine, for example, increases alertness, which in turn ups the likelihood of exercising. Lavender helps you snooze more soundly—no small matter, since sleep deprivation can cause weight gain. And consider lighting green apple or peppermint candles; those scents are thought to suppress appetite. One study, for example, found that people who got a whiff of peppermint every two hours ate 2,700 fewer calories each week than they typically did.

Source: US News

This article could be the ticket for losing a few or more pounds! What do you think?

Until next time…



How to Make Your Home INSPIRE You! ~ Mindful Interiors Package

30 pages of design tips, 30 minute radio interview, and monthly Mindful Design Newsletter
Signup and receive your FREE gift:

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

More About

Read more about Nancy Meadows and her work as a designer...


Find out how Nancy can help you in solving your design dilemmas...


Begin the process of decorating your home or work space with Nancy Meadows...