By Jessie Shafer, RD
Rather than relying on willpower alone, improve the healthfulness
of your dwelling space, starting with your kitchen and living room.
If you keep a produce bowl on your kitchen counter, research shows you’ll weigh an average of 13 pounds less than people who don’t. Brian Wansink, professor and director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, shares this tip and more in his book Slim by Design (HarperCollins, 2013). He also recommends downsizing your plates. By using a smaller plate, you’ll serve yourself 22 percent less food and still get full. Another tip: Keep serving bowls off the dinner table.
If you bring serving bowls to the table, you’ll end up eating 18 percent more.
Green up the rooms in your home by nurturing houseplants. According to NASA research, having at least one potted plant per every 100 square feet of floor space can drastically improve air quality.
Other tips for a healthier living room:
- Sanitize your handheld devices once a week—remote controls, cordless phones and even computer keyboards can harbor more bacteria than a toilet seat.
- Ban eating meals in rooms with a television, computer or other distraction that can prevent you from mindfully experiencing the flavors and textures of your meal. Instead, eat at places where you can focus on the food, such as a dining room or kitchen bar counter. Studies show that eating in front of the television causes you to consume 13 percent to 20 percent more calories than those who eat elsewhere. Plus, TV-distracted diners tend to eater fewer fruits and vegetables and more fried foods.
Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.
Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.
Improves mood, memory, and focus.
Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.