Put the healthy stuff in the fridge last!
I must say that as hard as I try to eat my six meals a day, sometimes I am so busy at work that I really don't have time to space them out properly and especially at the end of the day when I have had a rough day and eating my snack will keep me at work an extra 15 minutes? Sorry to say I usually chug some water to subside my hunger and walk home to get some puppy love and make all right with the world once again! And usually after my 15 minute walk home, getting the dogs out of their crates, getting some love time in, and then feeding them....I am starving!! And when I am starving, I want quick and easy, not to cook up (or even chop up) and amazing meal.
What can I do?
A new study from Cornell University found that people are more likely to eat the first thing we see in our fridge, cabinet, or on the counter than the 5th item we see. Which really makes people the reason that we fail at dieting or being healthy: if we have a bowl full of cookies or snack food out, we are going to reach for them first, but if there is a bowl of fruit on the counter, you will reach for that instead. Not only will grabbing into a fresh fruit bowl get you great vitamins, filled up with something good for you, and you will feel better about yourself by doing something healthy. And put all the healthy stuff at the front of your fridge, so when you open the door, you see healthy foods and grab them first.
How did they actually perform this study?
100 people had pictures of their cabinets taken, and described their diets. Then the researchers went into their homes, moved items in their cabinets/pantries and had the participants, again, submit a food journal. They also concluded that our environments have an effect on how much you eat as well; for example if you have a pantry stocked full of oreos, and you start eating one package, you are more likely to eat more if you have another package in your home. If you only have one package, you may eat fewer; having on overabundance of your favorite foods can encourage you to overeat.
What does this mean?
Well, this is bad news for people like me who have very little time for grocery shopping and tend to go when they are starving and buy a whole bunch of crap at one time...But you should try to shop for the week and load up on good, healthy stuff. And if you are someone who is really busy, take Sunday (or whatever day you have free) and make a bunch of meals and refrigerate or freeze them, then you can quickly heat them up as soon as you get home from work. That way, you don;t have to search for what to eat, it's all ready to go!
How to do I prevent this?
So, interestingly, I used to buy a lot of really healthy stuff, because I always start in the fruit and veg aisles first, and I felt like I was so super healthy, that I could load up on ice cream, candy, etc but my cart looked overall healthy. Well, I wasn't. So, now I go backwards, and I try to keep around the perimeter of the store as much as possible, because it is where the healthiest items are kept, and I feel too guilty to put the crappy stuff in my cart first, so I tend to buy less (if any at all) and then stock up on all of my healthy foods, and feel so much better leaving the store. And plus, now that we have learned that our environment dictates how and what we eat, keeping lots of healthy stuff around, increases the rate of me eating a healthy snack instead of gorging on crap....which I would do!
So, make your environment dictate a healthy lifestyle and you will be able to live one; try the backwards trip around the grocery store, and putting healthy foods in the most visible spots in your home, it seems silly but it works ;)
Yours in Good Health