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Could a 'skinny' house keep you slim?

September 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Health experts have gone as far as telling us to scale down the size of our plates and cups, to adjusting the lighting, in order to help us cut a few calories from our diet. Well, making changes to your whole house could make a difference. Start at the door. Studies show those who enter from the door that leads through the kitchen are 15 times more likely to grab a snack than those who use the main entrance and head to the bedroom to change.

Changing into snug yet comfortably fitting workout gear that is readily available, rather than baggy lounging stuff, helps get you in the mindset for moving, even if it's just stretching or yoga.

A full-length mirror in the bedroom or bathroom allows you to keep an eye out for weight gain or loss as well as checking how your clothes fit.

When watching television, keep fitness props nearby to pump weights during commercials or leave room to do some crunches or dips.

Something to be aware of: One study found that those who watch TV for an hour eat 28 percent more than those watching for just 30 minutes. So watch your viewing time.

When it's time to eat, have the tools to make food easily. Have a food processor, a blender, and grater out on the counter or readily available. If you have to work too hard at it when you're hungry, you'll be less inclined to make something worthwhile and nutritious.

Knowing that it takes 20 minutes for the brain to receive signals from the stomach for fullness means eating slowly, which is a great trick for eating less.

Trading in your fork for chop sticks will force you to eat more slowly. Dim lighting also has us eating more, so turn up the lights. Also, serve single plates of food rather than "family style" to limit calories.

If you find you've got cravings after dinner, take a bath with appetite-suppressing scents like green apple or peppermint. The bath is relaxing and distracting, while the aroma has been shown to suppress appetite.

Growing fresh herbs not only cuts the cost of a gourmet meal, but the aroma of herbs, like rosemary or basil, can be a signal to eat healthier.

Store snacks way up high or down low. Keep the high-fat, high-calorie stuff out of sight, but do put fresh options in easy-to-reach areas.

Something to keep in mind: Restaurants are often painted red, orange, or yellow, as these colors are proven to stimulate appetite. So perhaps your kitchen should be void of these colors.

You'll find more information about a "skinny" house in the September issue of Health Magazine.

 

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