Managing Your Environment for a Healthy Weight
Your environment affects what you eat and, thus, your weight to some extent. If you have easy access to a lot of high-fat, high-sugar, tasty foods, it is tempting to eat them. Take a look at your environment and see what causes you to eat more than you need. Here are some things to look for and some tips to change your environment:
- Is food available around you at all times? Move it out of sight. Change your route so that you don't have to pass by food or vending machines.
- Do you sometimes eat without thinking? If so, give your food the attention it deserves. Try eating only in one place in your home (for example, the kitchen table). Avoid eating in front of the television, the computer, at your desk, or while driving your car. Be aware of your behaviors while you are preparing food. Do you snack on ingredients as you make dinner? Chew gum while you cook so you won't be tempted to snack on the ingredients.
- Do you eat whatever is most available because you don't plan ahead? For lunch away from home, make it a habit to pack a healthy lunch and snacks the night before.
- Snack from a plate, not from the package. Plan your snacks just like your meals.
- Is eating a positive, pleasurable experience for you? Take some time to relax before a meal so that you can eat slowly and enjoy it. Eat your meals with others and make your mealtime enjoyable.
- Do you try to ignore feelings of hunger and skip meals? This can lead to overeating or choosing a less healthy snack later on. Plan for meals and snacks to eat at times when you know you will be hungry. The goal is to eat when you are hungry and not eat when you are not hungry.
Last Revised: November 15, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
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