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Fight Fat with a Healthy Home
Obesegenics (Part 1 of 2)

Don't walk through the kitchen unless you have to.
Don't walk through the kitchen
unless you have to.

If you're serious about losing weight, you have to start by changing your behavior. Unfortunately, habits are more deeply tied to our environment than most people realize.

Let's say you're used to coming home, grabbing a snack and sitting down on the couch to watch TV. The more often you repeat that habit, the more deeply ingrained it becomes. Eventually, every time you sit on the couch, you'll think about grabbing a snack. That's an example of your house working against you.

To lose the weight, you don't need iron willpower. You just need to change the way you interact with your home. Here are some things you can do.


Start by avoiding the food. Many homes are built so you can enter through the garage or a side door, directly into the kitchen. But passing through the kitchen is an opportunity to grab food. Researchers claim just walking through the kitchen can lead to piling on 15 percent more calories a day.

Walk into your house through a door that doesn't go through the kitchen. It's easier to avoid temptations if they aren't right in your face.

Once you're inside, turn on the lights, turn up the dimmers and open the blinds. The darker the lighting, the better food looks and the less inhibited we tend to be. Darkness gives us a sense that it's OK to indulge. Let the sunshine in and it makes us less likely to binge.

Don't make an office near the food. If you work from home, the kitchen table is the last place you should be spending a lot of time. It's too easy to engage in mindless eating when you're camped out beside the refrigerator. Setup a foldaway desk in the living room, a spare bedroom, the garage, attic or even outside. Step away from the pantry.

If you keep snacks in your home, make them harder to get to. Most people take the first or second item they see. If you've got the cookies front and center, you're probably going to eat them first. Move the unhealthy stuff to the back of the cabinet, higher or lower than where you typically look. Put the healthy soups, vegetables and fruit at eye level.

While you're re-arranging the shelves, put any excess food somewhere you can't readily see. When people keep excess food easily available in their kitchen, they eat the food at nearly twice their usual rate the first week.


When you're ready to eat, set the table. Eating together as a family encourages conversation and slows down how fast you eat. People who eat slower, take in about 70 calories less per meal than quick eaters.

Use salad plates for your main course. Oversized dinner plates make a dramatic statement, but they're a killer for your waistline. Researchers found that people eat about 92 percent of what's on the plate in front of them. Just changing from 12-inch to 10-inch plates means you'll be able to load them up with 22 percent less food. The same goes for serving spoons. Use smaller ones and you'll put less on your plate.

If you have fine china that's been handed down, check their sizes. Older dishes tend to be smaller, which means smaller portions for you.

While you're setting the table, swap out short wide glasses for ones that are tall and slender. People typically fill glasses up to the same height, regardless of how wide they are. The taller and more slender a glass is, the less you're likely to drink. The only time you should use wide glasses are for water. Drink as much of that as you want.

Trade out silverware for chopsticks. Most people pick up less with a pair of chopsticks than they shovel onto a spoon or fork, which reduces how much you're eating even more.

Click on part 2 for five more ways you can change your home to drop fat.

Part 1 2

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beginning any diet or exercise program.