We humans are opportunistic eaters; we eat what we’re surrounded by, physically see and have access to. Back in the day this was handy when food was scarce, we would gorge on calories because we literally didn’t know when we would have access to nutrients again. Nowadays we still have that opportunistic mechanism but food is everywhere, it’s easier to over consume than ever and it’s extremely calorie dense!
Knowing now that we’re opportunistic eaters, here is a short to the point list of ways you can set up your food environment to make your daily decisions with food easier. By working around your biology as opposed to challenging it you can rely less on ‘discipline’ and use that energy for something else…like summersaults…errr whatever.
Clear The Cupboards
Get all the junk out, throw it away and do everyone a favor and DON’T bring it to the office…it’s not generous, you’re just making it harder on your co-workers to reach their goals.
Clear The Counters
Throw a fruit bowl on the counter as opposed to cookies, snacks and cereal boxes. Households that keep junk on the counters are on average 9 pounds heavier than homes that don’t. Families that keep cereal out and on the counter are an average of 21 POUNDS heavier than clans that go with the fruit option instead!
Out of Sight Out of Mind
If you just must have junk food or alcohol around the house put it in places that you don’t look at it everyday. For example keep the booze in the fridge in the garage or in a cabinet you rarely pass by or look at. Better yet only grab it from the store when you’re going to drink it, buy enough for that one evening and DO NOT stalk up!
As far as junk goes make it super inconvenient to eat. Store it in your highest cupboard right at the back so you literally have to work for it. It may sound silly and like we’re a lot smarter than to fall for something so simple but the inconvenience and time alone that it takes to access the sweets can and will change your mind about eating it at least some of the time.
Dishware and Utensils
Ditch your massive plates and bowls for something on the smaller to medium end. Eat with a small fork and spoon as opposed to spatula-sized utensils that get you eating quicker and chewing less.
Why did McDonalds pick red and yellow? Why are fast food joints super brightly lit and just obnoxious in nature? These companies are smart, they’ve done their research and they know how to get their customers consuming a ton of calorie dense food in a hurry! Be aware of the places you choose to eat and more importantly be mindful of how your home, office or wherever you spend a bunch of time is set up food wise.
Work Set Up
Keep the M&M’s off your desk. Simply putting chocolate in one of your drawers will make you eat less of them than if they were staring you in the face all day. If you look at them 20x daily you have to ‘choose’ not to eat them 20 times. If they’re not there at all or in a desk drawer (think out of sight out of mind) which you probably open no more than 5x daily you take the ‘willpower’ and ‘discipline’ aspect out of the equation more times than not! But again the best option is to just not have the stuff around.
Keep a bunch of quality food in your fridge at all times so it will literally go bad if you don’t eat it…wasting food ain’t cool. If you go out to eat a not so healthy meal DO NOT bring home the leftovers, it’s just too convenient to chow down on the rest of your oversized portion before you hit the hay that night or the next day when you get home hungry from work!
The synopsis of this article is…make it extremely easy to eat quality foods and super inconvenient to eat junk food. Even if ya avoid the junk option 50% of the time and go for the quality option the other 50% that’s a win!