To Clean Up Your Diet, Clean Out Your House

Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 at 11:44 am



What I appreciate the most from training clients in their homes is being able to see and experience their lifestyles firsthand. 


Often times (and with their permission of course), I end up in their kitchen, and raid the fridge and pantry to get a better sense of their eating habits. 


It’s amazing how minor changes and substitutions at home can lead to an overall healthier lifestyle. 


What you stock in your pantry is an obvious one, but there are many hidden culprits within your home that can sabotage your healthy eating efforts. 


Healthy living begins at home, so today I’m going to share the most common diet traps and how to overcome them.


Diet Trap #1:  Guest Candy Bowls


In many cultures and societies, it is good etiquette to display a large bowl filled with individually wrapped candies and chocolates for guests and passersby. 


Not only is this commonly done at home, but it’s also popular in restaurants, hair salons, clinics, hotels, offices, or anywhere with high traffic and guest relations.

For someone looking to lose weight or eat better, this has disaster written all over it. 


The fact of the matter is that it requires self-restraint and mind control to keep you from taking a sweet treat every time you pass in front of that bowl. 


The good news is that this common diet trap is the easiest to remedy. 


How?  You have a few options.


The most obvious and extreme choice is to eliminate the candy bowl altogether. 


The other option is to move it to a less visible location like a cabinet or an area that is harder to reach and only bring it out when you have visitors. 


The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” is very true. 


Finally, you can substitute the candies and chocolates with healthier treats like individually wrapped dates or have a clear glass jar of dried nuts & fruits instead.


Diet Trap #2:  Large Dinnerware


It has been proven that adults eat what is served in front of them, so the larger the dinner plate is, the more food you will consume. 


For those trying to reduce their portion sizes, consider using your smaller luncheon plates for dinner. 


The plate will look full and will visually satisfy your mind and appetite but you’ll end up eating less.


Diet Trap #3:  TV & Computer Location


It’s very common these days to have televisions in the kitchen or in the area where you sit to eat. 


Consider removing the TV to another location or have a designated eating-only area because eating while watching television, checking emails, or standing at the kitchen counter can cause a person to overeat according to many studies. 


If it isn’t possible to remove the television, then make it a point to turn it off during meal times.


Diet Trap #4:  No Healthy Foods in Sight


Just as the bowl of candy can tempt you, so can a visible bowl of fresh fruits. 


Get into the habit of having freshly washed and ready-to-eat fruits on the counter or dinner table and vary them every few days to keep it appealing.


Another good tip is to have freshly cut vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, or any other vegetables that you like on the counter or dinner table while you’re preparing dinner. 


When a person is hungry the brain craves something sweet and high in fat, so it’s only natural to go after sugary foods and other not-so-healthy options. 


Having fruits and vegetables in sight can help curb these cravings.


Diet Trap #5:  The Pantry Itself


The pantry is often a diet trap in itself and deserves a whole article on its own, so I’ll leave this one for next week’s post.


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