Does your home reflect a healthy, slim and fit lifestyle? Or are you trying to whittle your waist in a home that’s in fact a ghar to disorder and untidiness? We admit it’s extremely tough for most of us to make healthy food choices and find the time to exercise when we are constantly running behind. But there are some quick home design ideas and simple organisational tips that can help you feel more stress-free and make fitter decisions in return!
Compiled from houzz.com, weightloss.about.com and the bestseller, Slim by Design, here are a few tips to set your home up for a fitter and slimmer you.
What exactly does a healthy kitchen counter look like? It’s basically full of open space that’s ready for diet-friendly food preparation. There are no bags of chips, stacked nimco or visible baked goods. Handbags, toys and other clutter are also not visible. According to Brian Wansink, a professor and researcher at Cornell University, a healthy kitchen counter may have a few neatly organised cooking utensils, a blender for making healthy chutneys and smoothies, and a bowl of nuts or fruit. Wansink also recommends you leave the rest of your counter space empty so when you’re ready to cook a healthy meal, you’ve got plenty of space to work with.
Make place for a fruit bowl
You may already have a measly fruit bowl sitting in your kitchen. But are those bananas looking way too overripe? If you’re trying to win the battle against the bulge, or are aiming for a cleaner diet, where you place the fruit bowl makes a big difference. A recent study about habit changes for weight loss found that when people made a commitment to snack only after eating a piece of fruit, most of them lost weight. So where should you put the fruit bowl? “In front of the snack cabinet,” shares Wansink. That way, you’ll see the fruit first when you are tempted to snack, and an orange is far superior to chocolate fudge brownies — health wise, at least! Wanskink also suggests placing a fruit bowl near your car keys. If you grab a piece of fruit before you run out the door, you’ll be less likely to hit the nearest drive-thru when hunger pangs come visit.
Maintain a clean, orderly refrigerator
Smart dieters and fitness fans often clean the middle shelves of the refrigerator and fill them with single serving containers of home-cooked veggies or wholesome foods such as lentil and grilled chicken. A sealed transparent container of hard-boiled eggs should also be a must — make sure to place the eggs in the middle shelf of the fridge. That way, you’re more likely to see and grab those healthier items when you raid the refrigerator at odd hours. So what do you do with the foods that used to be stored on the middle shelves? There are certain foods that you should just want to toss away — think sodas. But if your family isn’t willing to let those items go just yet, Dr Wansink suggests storing sodas in the vegetable crisper which is usually in a lower, hard-to-reach spot.
Paint your kitchen anything — but white
Okay, this may be hard to digest but according to a survey conducted by Houzz, almost 75% of homeowners around the world prefer a soft and neutral kitchen. But Wansink has found that white and bright spaces tend to stimulate eating. But the opposite spaces are bad too. Really dark rooms with low lighting and soft music tend to slow people down, causing them to linger and eat for an average of nine minutes longer. “The darker the space, the longer you stick around and the more likely you are to break down and have another serving,” says Wansink, adding that an in-between colour is best. “Gold, green, blue, tan, earth tones — those are all good. Any colour seems to work other than white or cream.”
Banish a sleep-inducing bedroom
A five-minute bedroom revamp may, in fact, help you sleep better — and a good night’s rest may help you to make better food choices during the day according to several recent studies. So what needs to be changed in your bedroom? Make it a habit to never charge any electronics in the bedroom. Move chargers to the lounge or another room in the house. Minimise light from other sources, including the TV. Many good sleepers do so because they’ve moved the television out of the bedroom entirely. Keep a lavender spray near your bed —Feng shui experts believe that the soothing properties of the essential oil may help you relax and sleep better at night.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2016.