If you’re unsure why your waistline is increasing, it could be worth looking within your own four walls…
“The way that our homes are set up can subconsciously influence our behaviour,” explains Dr Aria Campbell-Danesh, behaviour change psychologist and mindfulness expert (dr-aria.com).
This can work in one of two ways – either driving us towards our health goals or contributing to us putting on weight.” Before you panic, though, there are lots of easy tweaks and improvements you can make around your home that will help you to eat better and slim down without even trying.
Here’s a room that you might not necessarily relate to weight loss but it could be key to helping you meet your goals. “Just one night’s poor sleep can decrease the amount of calories you burn the next day by up to 20 percent!” reveals Filip Koidis, nutritionist at Doctify (doctify. co.uk). “A good night’s rest is an imperative priority when it comes to weight management – a factor that is often overlooked.”
A lack of sleep is also associated with unhealthy foods that are often higher in calories and fat than normal, which can all contribute to weight gain. A good night’s sleep ensures that your hormones will be working at an optimal level the next day and, therefore, your craving and satiety sensors will do so too. Plus, while you may be tempted, don’t snack in this room.
“Eating in your bedroom can contribute to the number of environmental cues you have in your house which may drive you to over consume,” adds nutritionist Jenna Hope (jennahopenutrition.com).
Often the heart of the home, the kitchen is also a hotspot for unhealthy food choices. A good tip is to keep these kinds of foods out of sight. “Being able to see things such as biscuits, cakes and chocolate can increase your desire to consume them,” says Jenna.
Try keeping these foods in opaque containers in the cupboard to make them less accessible and keep healthy options visible in the kitchen. “Try placing chopped fruit and veg within easy reach, on the counter or in the fridge,” says Dr Claudia Gravaghi, nutritionist at Doctify.
If you are looking to cut down your sugar intake, there are some simple ways to help you stay on track. “Breaking a habit can be challenging but in order to do so we need to change our environmental cues,” says Jenna. “Removing the sugar canister from next to the kettle can help to reduce the chances of you adding the sweet stuff to hot drinks. Even if you’re only drinking two cups of tea or coffee a day and adding two spoonfuls of sugar to each cup, that equates to 16g a day – this is over half of your daily allowance!”
The dining room
“Focusing on your food and practising mindful eating is a proven technique for good weight control,” Filip tells us. “I would recommend you use any lighting and music that allows you to stay focused on your meal.”
Dishing up your food also comes with its own set of problems: “The average plate size has increased by around two inches over the past 30 years,” says Jenna. “This encourages us to significantly increase our portion sizes without even realising it. Rather than loading your dinner plate, try using a starter-sized plate instead.”
You could also use a small container when preparing food for work as Dr Aria suggests: “Simple strategies like this could reduce your daily intake by 228 calories,” he adds.
Discover more great healthy eating content like this at www.yourfitnesstoday.co.uk