This year you will achieve it! 10 tips to change your diet and look like a celebrity.
Your environment has an incredible ability to shape your behavior. And small changes in the physical environment around you can make it easier for you to create good habits.
With that in mind, I would like to share 10 simple strategies to design an environment that invites you to eat healthily without thinking or spending time and energy on it.
Eat healthy without realizing it: Before sharing the strategies, I would like to give the researcher credit behind these ideas. Brian Wansink is a professor at Cornell University and has conducted several studies on how the environment shapes your eating decisions. And a good part of the ideas that I express below are part of his popular book, Mindless Eating:
Use smaller plates.
Large plates mean large portions; therefore, eat more. According to a study conducted by Wansink and his team, if you make a simple change in the size of the dish you can consume up to 22% less food per year.
If you think that just “putting less food on the plate” you achieve the same effect, you are in error.
When you eat a small portion of a large plate, your mind feels unsatisfied. Meanwhile, the same portion will feel fuller when eating a small plate.
Make the water more affordable.
Most of us take a sip of liquids like juices or coffee while we work. Better, try this: buy a large bottle of water and put it near you all day.
If you have it close, you will choose more often to take it and avoid consuming less healthy options naturally.
Do you want to drink less soda? Use tall, thin glasses, instead of short and wide ones.
Look at the image below, which line is longer, vertical or horizontal? Both are of the same length, but our brain has a tendency to overestimate the vertical lines.
In other words, tall glasses look bigger to our eyes. And that’s because the height makes things look bigger than the width, so you drink less than tall glasses.
In fact, on average you drink 20% less high glasses than low ones.
Use dishes that have a high contrast of color with your food.
When the color of the plate is similar to that of the food, naturally you serve more because your brain has difficulty distinguishing the size of the portion.
Because of that, dark green or blue dishes are ideal because they contrast with foods like pasta and potatoes (so you serve less), but, on the contrary, do not contrast with vegetables and vegetables (so that you serve more of them).
Place healthy foods in a key space.
For example, you could put a plate of fruit or nuts near the front door or anywhere else you pass before leaving your home.
When you are hungry and in a hurry, you are likely to grab the first thing you see.
Wraps unhealthy foods in aluminum, and healthy ones in plastic.
The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is true. Eating is not only a physical event, but an emotional one.
Your mind determines what it is you want to eat based on what your eyes see. Also, if you hide unhealthy foods or make them difficult to get, you are less likely to eat them.
Keep healthy foods in large containers, and unhealthy ones in small ones.
Large containers tend to catch the eye more, and as a result, you are more likely to eat what they contain.
In contrast, small packages can be months in your kitchen. If you buy a large package of unhealthy food, pack it in smaller bags; this will ensure that at least you do not eat much each time.
Serve your meals using the “half-plate” rule.
You can also design your feeding environment.
When you serve your dinner, start by putting half a plate of fruit or vegetables. Then, fill the other half with another dish.
Use the “outer perimeter” strategy to buy healthy food.
The concept is simple: when you go to the supermarket do not walk through the corridors. Only buy in the outer perimeter of the store, where you usually find the healthiest: fruits, vegetables, fish and eggs.
Apply the design of the environment in other areas of your life.
If you observe each of these strategies you will notice that a small change adds more steps between you and the harmful behaviors, and decreases those between you and the beneficial ones.