2015 Healthy Home Makeover
by Christina Meyer-Jax, Tastemaker in Residence
See Christina on Fox 9 News.
It's the same old New Year's story, this year I resolve to:
1. Eat more healthy
2. Exercise more
3. Lose weight
4. Drink less of my calories
Instead of focusing on nebulous goals and the ultimate fail of "willpower", it's time to make creating healthy eating systems this year's resolution. With the average person encountering 200+ eating decisions everyday, building a supportive food and fitness environment will help you reach your goals far easier than relying on your own self-control.
Top Healthier Home Makeover Tips:
1. Quality, Not Quantity. Time to choose real foods with real nutrients. There is no magic bullet here. Eat high quality (real) foods with fiber, healthy fats, and protein to help fill and fuel you up. Don't grab on to gimmicks. The best snacks are those with nutrient dense ingredients such as nuts, seeds, veggies, and fruit.
2. Size Does Matter. Most of us belongs to the clean plate club. The average adult eat 92% of what they put on their plate. So choose smaller plates, tall thin glasses, small serving utensils, and mini-size containers to help moderate your intake.
3. Out of Site Out of Mind. Research shows that we eat more of the first thing we see in our pantry and fridges. Keep cut up fruit and veggies in the first row and less healthy snacks in lower shelves ideally in dark containers. Better yet, don't buy the trigger foods to begin with. We all know if the ice cream is in the freezer, we will find it and eat it.
4. Prep Ahead and Batch Cook. Invest in some bento boxes and pack lunches and snacks ahead of time. Block out your calendar and make time for it (facebook, twitter, and instagram can wait). Why cook only chicken for tonight's dinner, when you can cook a larger batch and freeze for later in the week? No time for breakfast? Fill up a blender container with plain greek yogurt and frozen fruit and put in the fridge for the next morning. Now all you have to do is pop it on the blender head as you hit go on the coffee pot the next day. Viola...breakfast!
5. Less Variety=Less Eating. Human behavior drives us to consume more when there is more foods to choose from. Any trip to a buffet will confirm that. At your home and meal occasions, keep the daily offerings low. Add variety in the weekly rotations, not at each occasion.
6. Frame Exercise as Fun, You Will Eat Less. Cornell University researchers found when participants framed a walk as "exercise" they ate 35% more of the chocolate pudding offered vs. participants who framed their walk as fun (scenic, added music, social). When we frame an activity as exercise we feel we deserve a bigger reward, vs. if the activity is already fun.