Sunday, August 31, 2014

Design for Weight Loss

Protect yourself by knowing options for wise choices. 

A goal of intuitive eating is to enjoy food that fills us with nourishment. That way, we eat to give ourselves hours to be productive and enjoy our lives. Sometimes our eating goals are sabotaged by the environment. Some forms of distraction from goals are impossible to avoid. But when it comes to the design of your own eating environment, you can be in control.

Because we are sensual beings, our physical environment impacts how much we eat. Using our senses, including common sense, reminds us to balance internal messages with our external reality. It's always good to be curious, to ask yourself, am I really hungry for this? and choose to stay in sync with your physical needs by eating slower.

Ways our decorating choices impact our eating include:
  • Furniture is important. When we eat standing up or on the go, we are likely to eat more than we need. Sitting at a table in the chair helps us connect physically with our body when we eat. Additionally, not watching television forces us to notice how much food we are eating. Instead of TV, why not turn on some 'mood music' and use your eyes to see how much food you want to eat.
  • The size of dishes we use for eating manipulates the amount of food we eat. Choose plates that are 9"across and bowls that hold 17oz. These are the perfect size for smart eating. You will discover that you have enough to eat and that the visual of seeing these dishes full of food is satisfying. Just like when we shop for pair of jeans and we see a smaller size and think it would be nice to get the smaller size, eating from smaller plates will change how much food you naturally consume, and perhaps your pant size, too. 
  • Lighting effects how fast we eat. According to Dr. Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab, very bright lights make us eat faster. Dim lighting encourages us to be less inhibited and eat more desserts! Keep lighting bright enough so you can see what you're eating and be comfortable to eat what is just right for your needs.
  • We know colors impact our choices and we dress every day with this in mind. In fact, color impacts more than our fashion sense. When eating, if the walls are painted red or orange, we rush. When walls are blue or green, this encourages us to linger and ultimately overindulge. The best color for keeping control of healthy eating choices is neutral shades like white, gray, or beige. The food on your plate should be colorful. They say we are supposed to eat a "rainbow" at every meal!
Blueberry Blossom, photo by RPC


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