"It's easier to change your environment than your mind." (Mindless Eating)
Changing our environment is one of the easiest and most significant steps we can take to change our habits. It's a powerful concept I was introduced to years ago by Weight Watchers.
Have you ever noticed how much more likely you are to reach for food that is in plain view?
When I have any type of snack visible on the counter I can't stay away from them. Every time I walk by I'm reaching into the bag, box, dish or jar to grab one or a few of whatever it is - nuts, candy, cookies, chips, crackers.
I call it the see food diet. I see the food and immediately I want it.
Turns out that there is a lot of research supporting the idea that the visual cues in our environment, the things we see, affect our behaviors and habits.
The good news is that by changing the visual cues we can alter our habits.
It's one of the easiest most effective steps we can take to change our habits.
If you want to eat less junk food, clear it from your counters and pantry.
Here are some ideas for creating a healthy weight loss environment that supports you.
How to Create An Environment That Supports Healthy Weight Loss
- Set up your kitchen to make getting balanced healthy meals on the table as convenient as possible.
- Keep the tools and ingredients you use all the time easily accessible. Keep counters clear to make chopping and prepping food hassle free.
- Make sure your pantry, refrigerator and freezer are stocked with the healthy foods and ingredients you use frequently to make those quick easy dinner recipes.
- Hide the candy dish and cookie jar. Replace the with a bowl of fresh fruit.
- To encourage starting your day with a healthy breakfast have easy options - sliced whole wheat bread, eggs, cottage cheese, peanut butter, high fiber whole grain cereal, oatmeal, bananas as well as plain yogurt, coconut milk and frozen fruit for healthy smoothies - readily available.
- Consider stashing healthy muffins and breakfast cookies that can be warmed in minutes in the freezer.
- Keep hard boiled eggs and washed and chopped veggies in the fridge to grab for quick and easy snacking.
- Keep your exercise equipment in plain view. I keep my yoga mat unrolled upstairs in the bedroom as a reminder to spend some time each day stretching, strengthening and balancing. Place your hand weights in easy reach while watching television.
- I have a golden retriever who makes sure I walk everyday, which is much more effective for me than any gym or personal trainer could ever be, because I love her and want to keep her happy and healthy too! (And I've discovered that the best form of exercise for losing weight and staying healthy is the kind you actually want to do.)
Change is never easy. My pre-Weight Watchers environment was a whole other story:
- 2 to 3 candy dishes filled with a variety of choices at all times.
- A cooke jar always filled with my favorites.
- A pantry brimming with potato chips, pretzels, corn chips, crackers, animal crackers, granola bars, cookies and candy.
- A fridge and freezer overflowing with too much food, including tempting leftovers from decadent restaurant meals in plain sight.
- Counters loaded with stuff making it difficult to free up space to cook when it was time to get dinner.
Life change is never easy. But there are lots of things we can do to make it easier.
Changing up the visual cues in our environment is one of the most powerful.
More Tips for Eating Great And Losing Weight
- Healthy Explorations: 6-Week Mindless Eating Challenge
- 50 Ways to Live Like a Savvy Slim Woman
- 10 Ways to Kick-Start Your Healthy Weight Loss
- 10 Secrets of the Naturally Slim
- 11 Easy Healthy Ways to Lose Weight
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