Our environment influences the food choices we make, so let's renovate them!
Renovating your environment means reducing your exposure to triggers or temptations to eat.
We live in fast forward - take the time to focus and enjoy eating. Stop eating when distracted by other activities. For example a study showed that people ate 28% more popcorn when watching a one hour tv show versus a half hour tv show.
Food is everywhere - Reduce exposure to temptations. Pay at the pump when getting gas so you don't have to go into the convenience store to pay. Pick up coffee at the drive through instead of going in and exposing yourself to baked goods.
Food is big business - Resist marketing and advertising strategies. Go to the store with a list of items on sale and stick with your list to reduce temptations to buy items you don't need. Strive for commercial-free tv options or streaming to avoid exposure to enticing food commercials.
We think big - buy less, eat less. Divide larger packages into smaller packages. Put them in the freezer or pantry. Remember, the more we buy, the more we consume. Only buy what you need.
Too many choices - beware of the effect of variety. Avoid eating at buffets if you overeat. Keep a limited variety of unhealthy foods on hand and increase the variety of healthy snacks. Have more than one type of vegetable at your main meal to encourage increased vegetable consumption.
We love a deal - Question the real value of a deal. Do you really need to purchase that item? Remember you will likely be spending more money than originally intended in the first place.
Food is always within reach - out of sight, out of mind. Keep less healthy foods out of sight in a cupboard, store them in the basement, garage, or less convenient location. Use opaque or non- see through food containers.
XX-large portions - resize servings to petite or medium.
When eating out, ask to be served one bun and not have the bread basket brought to the table.
Order a half serving when eating out.
Cook only as much as you need.
Portion a serving of snack food for yourself instead of eating directly from a box or bag.
Optical illusions - trick your eyes with smaller shapes and sizes.
Have you ever tried putting the same amount of food on smaller plates or different shaped glasses?
Serve meals on a smaller dessert plate rather than a larger dinner plate.
Pour your drink in a tall, skinny glass rather than wider glasses.
Use smaller utensils, and bowls.
This gives you the illusion there is more food and drink there when there isn't! What's more, by using smaller utensils, plates, and bowls - you'll be less likely to overdo with large portions.
These strategies will enable you to modify your eating behaviours in ways that make you be and feel great! These are also good tools for re-wiring poor eating habits, to address emotional eating, and to support your weight loss goals. You'll have more energy and positive self-esteem too!
Want more information? This month's content has been provided courtesy of the Craving Change (TM) program! Visit their website at www.cravingchange.ca! Looking for nutrition coaching to address problematic or disordered eating? Contact me today!