Your home – a peaceful sanctuary that you rely on for safety and relaxation. But what if your home is making you unhealthy? What if where you live is actually making you gain extra, unnecessary weight? What if the colour of your walls is raising your anxiety levels? Well, it could be true. It's time to take a look at your surroundings and decide if your colour choices, your refrigerator or your bedroom is affecting your life.
According to the Pantone Color Institute, the colour red can increase blood pressure, heart rate and even appetite. Yellow increases both happiness and appetite. In fact, if any of the rooms in your home are painted in the warm palettes of red, orange or yellow you are subliminally urging yourself to eat more. Blue, on the other hand can suppress appetite since this colour rarely occurs as food in nature. It's suggested that you paint your kitchen blue and even serve dinner on blue dishware to help you eat less.
It's said that you are three times more likely to eat the first thing you see than the fifth thing you see, according to Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. So if you are constantly looking at junk food, that's what you're going to eat. So keep bad foods out of sight in upper cabinets or pantries. Put healthy foods at eye level.
One study found that people who pass through the kitchen during the day eat 15 per cent more than those who don't. So if you enter through a side door into the kitchen try using a front or back door instead. If you work in the kitchen or talk a lot on the phone in the kitchen you will be even more tempted to snack, so try moving elsewhere.
Chairs and Couches
If you have a lot of comfortable chairs surrounding your breakfast island chances are it will encourage eating. A living room full of recliners could also lead to lounging and laziness. A 2005 Mayo Clinic study that looked at both lean and mildly obese people found that obese people sat at least 150 minutes more each day. If you like to watch a lot of television you should get an exercise bike or hand weights to use while watching a show.
One of the best ways to ensure you eat healthy is to grow the food yourself. Try planting a vegetable or herb garden. Sometimes the scent of fresh herbs is enough to increase your energy levels and will train your mind to crave healthy food. Lavender will help you relax and sleep better, which is important since sleep deprivation is tied to weight gain. And peppermint aromas can actually suppress appetite, leaving you eating fewer calories each day.
Ever look at your plate at the end of a meal and realize it is empty? That's because, on average, people eat 92 per cent of what they have on their plates, instead of stopping when they feel full. If you use a smaller plate – even a 10-inch plate instead of a 12-inch plate - you'll serve yourself 22 per cent less food.
It's no secret that lack of sleep leads to overeating. In fact, people who sleep only 5 hours a night are more likely to be obese than those who get 7 to 8 hours. A Stanford University study found that this is because sleep deprivation increases the hormone ghrelin, which is an appetite stimulant, while decreasing leptin, which is an appetite controller. So try to make sure your bedroom is your sanctuary. Invest in blackout blinds and good pillows, avoid caffeine and nicotine at night and never, ever work on your computer or watch television from your bed.
A study by the University of California-Irvine found that dark rooms lead to extra binge eating because people feel less inhibited in the dark. A lit kitchen will allow you to more carefully cook your food and will likely discourage snacking. Bright lights throughout the entire house will keep your energy levels up. But make sure they aren't too bright since that could send your energy levels soaring and result in you eating faster and consuming too much.
Most homes today are built to satisfy all your needs on one level. The main floor is where you do your cooking, eating and entertaining. Typically, the only time you go up the stairs is to go to bed. Instead of waiting until nighttime to take that climb, try using the stairs for a cardio workout. A 155 pound person will burn about 10 calories per minute climbing stairs. And the more trips you take, the more calories you will burn.
Did you know that scrubbing the dishes by hand instead of throwing them in the dishwasher will burn about 160 calories in a half hour? Consider that fact the next time you consider using a blender, mixer and electric can opener. Try opting for a clothesline instead of a dryer. Just carrying a full laundry basket from the laundry room to the yard and back upstairs can burn up to 100 calories. When you vacuum, try doing half the job with one hand and then switching to the other hand to get in an arm workout.
Researchers at Georgia State University found that listening to music prompts people to eat and drink more and for a longer period of time. And it didn't matter what kind of music they were listening to – whether it soothing jazz or hard-core rock. When you watch television you are also more likely to eat more. When you sit down for dinner make sure you turn off the music and the television to ensure you don't overeat.