Staging Trumps Willpower | Kirkland Nutrition and Fitness Tips

I can hear your reaction now:  Whaaaaat? For years we’ve all heard that ‘if I had enough willpower I could stick with healthy eating and loose weight.’ Or, ‘if I had enough willpower I would adopt an exercise program and do it, even after a long, tough day.’ Or the best one:  ‘if I had enough willpower I could resist eating that doughnut, cookie, candy, chips, etc., staring at me at the party, office, on my kitchen counter.’ 

But, the great news is that it’s NOT the answer!  As Brian Wansink, PhD, points out in his new book “Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life”, for 90% of us the solution is not to harness our willpower.  Our lives are too crazy and our willpower too wimpy.  Besides, willpower is hard and has to last a lifetime.  The solution isn’t mindful eating, but to tweak our homes, offices, schools, restaurants, and shopping so that we mindlessly eat less rather than more!  Frankly, I don’t know about you, but for me being mindful all the time is a pretty tough call!  Staging your environment, or rearranging your life for success, makes SO much more sense.

The color of your plate can make you fat:  If it’s the same color as your food you’ll serve yourself 18% more.  When eating at home choose a contrasting color, and since the simple carbs are always the diet busters, choosing a darker plate will make you aware of portion size. 

Clear the counter except for the fruit:  Studies show that women who kept potato chips on their counters weighed approximately 8% more than their neighbor.  And, the MOST dangerous food to keep on your kitchen counter is the innocent looking box of healthy, possibly granola, cereal!  Women who had even ONE box of healthy cereal on the counter weighed 21% more than their neighbor!  Oddly enough, the cereal on the counter  had absolutely no impact on men.

First seen, first eaten:  The more time you spend at home, the more important it is to hide the food.  ‘In sight, in stomach. I find this is very true for myself.  As a business owner I divide my days between working with clients and working on business in my office. When I buy chips I have to hide them, deep in a cupboard, so that I don’t see them when I open the cupboard for something healthier. As a Health and Fitness professional, I’m aware that the best idea would be to not even buy my favorite blue chips. But hey, I deserve to have an occasional treat!

Don’t buy your food in bulk. If you buy in bulk you’ll eat it faster and in greater quantity: Though Costco and Sam’s clubs can be great places to purchase in bulk if you have a large family, they aren’t the best places to buy if you are trying to eat healthy and loose weight. Dr Wansink’s study showed that people who filled their cupboards with bulk chips, noodles, cookies, etc., ate HALF of everything they bought in the first week!  In fact, they ate it twice as fast as they normally would!

Eating ‘Family Style’ will likely cause second or third helpings: People who served their food from the stove or counter ate 19% less than those helping themselves right off the table.  Having to get up and walk into another room for that second or third helping often causes people to ask “Am I really that hungry?”  The answer is often no.  However, if you want you or your family to eat more salad, by all means pkace the bowl on your table!

Avoid the fat tables in restaurants:  Huh? What a goofy idea! But, is it really?  All the study results aren’t in yet, but it’s looking like people who order healthier foods sit by a window or in a well-lit area of a restaurant. Those who ate heavier food, and more of it, tended to sit at a dark table or booth.   

How slim is your home:  Our homes are where we go for comfort, security and stability.
They can either be a danger zone or nurture us and our goals  If you want your home to be ‘Slim by design’, below are 10 pointers for a slim home.  Ask yourself if they hold true for you.  The more yes’s the better!


1) Salad and veggies are served first before the entrée and starches are brought to the table.

2) Main dish is pre-plated and served from the stove or counter.

3) Your dinner plates are 9-10” wide.

4) You eat sitting at the table with the TV turned off.

5) There are two or fewer cans of soft drinks in your refrig at any given time.

6) Your kitchen counters are organized, not messy.

7) Pre-cut fruits/veggies are on your middle refrig shelf.

8) At least 6 single servings of protein are in your fridge.

9) Your snacks are kept in one inconveniently placed cupboard.

10) The only food on your kitchen counter is a fruit bowl.




*Excerpted from Brian Wansink, PhD’s article: “Food Related Behavior Change Made Easy”, IDEA Health & Fitness, March 2016. 




Request more information

Facebook



Request Information Now!

Personal Trainer Bellevue

Let us e-mail you this Free Report