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Monday, April 18, 2011

Losing weight is as easy as Interior Design 101

source: yahoo

Got on the scale this morning? See an extra pound or two? Berating yourself for sneaking in that extra donut after dinner? Or the fact that you skipped your morning run?

Everyone knows that diet and exercise are two of the biggest factors in one’s quest for a thinner waistline, but new research says something else may motivate (or de-motivate) a person; the way they design their homes.

"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."

Light up your life
There’s something incredibly invigorating about the morning sun so experts are suggesting that weight watchers ought to open the drapes and let the sunshine in.

Researchers at University of California-Irvine believe that people tend to be less self-conscious when the home environment is dark and comfy, leading residents to binge eat.

So ditch the heavy curtains and turn up the lights for a healthier, thinner you.

Slow down
Jackson Blatner suggests eating your meals for a full half hour.

Time yourself, she says. Your brain needs at least a half hour to feel like it’s really full, but if you aren’t conscious of the time, you can actually “speed eat” and finish in 10 to 15 minutes.

Too much too soon, say Jackson Blatner. Sit down, don’t graze, and don’t rush yourself. You’re not in a contest.

Need some help to slow down? Turn on some soft, relaxing music that would aid you.

Classical music is good, but opt for ones that don’t have rousing crescendos. Try some soft jazz or bluesy music, instead.

Smaller plates make smaller girths
One might not think that the size of the dinner plate would matter when all we’re concentrating on is what to put on it, but food psychologist Brian Wansik, in his book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, proves otherwise.

In a study he conducted, he found that people who ate on a 12-inch dinner plate, regardless of the type of food, consumed 22% more than those who ate on a 10-inch plate.

Similarly, those who used bigger dinner spoons and forks ate 14% more; drinking from a shorter, wider glass as opposed to taller, skinnier ones makes people drink 30% more (which is good if it’s just water, but soda is another story).

Jackson Blatner suggests using smaller dinner paraphernalia for at least seven days and see if it works for you.

She claims she has yet to meet someone that says it hasn’t.

Organize what’s in the fridge
Put those fresh fruits and veggies at eye level, says Jackson Blatner, and store the chocolate and junk food in the crisper.

The theory is very similar to the way supermarkets stock their stores; when people see fresh produce first, the grocery shopping becomes less tedious because what customers are 'brainwashed' into thinking everything in the store is fresh.

When you see the fresh produce in your fridge first, you consume that first, which means less guilt, more healthy living.

Color it blue
Your dining room, that is.

Research has shown that people tend to eat more when seeing hues of red and yellow (McDonald’s, anyone?) but tend to eat less when surrounded in hues of blue.

They claim the colors red and yellow makes food “look more appetizing, while blue hues temper our hunger.”

Fill your life with scents
Aromatherapy has such a following now that it was only a matter of time before people would start using it for losing weight as well.

Jasmine is said to revitalize the senses, so light up jasmine scented candles when you’re feeling lazy to get you going on your workout.

Lavender is a known relaxant so use it for a fitful night sleep.

Peppermint and green apple scents are said to be an appetite suppressant, with a study showing that people who “got a whiff of peppermint every two hours ate 2,700 fewer calories each week than they typically did.”

source: yahoo

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