Is Your House Making You Fat?

You are reading this because the title has captured your eyes. We had the same raised-eyebrows when we saw this article on Dr. Oz’s website. Okay, so the story goes there are triggers in your house that may lead in to excessive eating and therefore, make you gain weight. “Seemingly small things like lighting and temperature change how your brain perceives food, and even how your body processes it.” Below are some tips to help you optimize your house: evolution-of-obesity

1. The thermostat is set too high – “We all have two types: white fat (the stubborn kind from refined sugars and fried food) and brown fat (the good kind that scientists believe helps us stay warm). When your house is warm, brown fat acts the same as white fat. But when you’re cold, brown fat becomes activated and powerful: it works to generate body heat and kickstarts your metabolism. All you need to do is lower your thermostat to 63°F (17°C) for just two hours a day. A small study showed that this could reduce body fat mass by 5% in six weeks!”

2. The lighting in your kitchen is too dim – “Research suggests that dim, warm lighting makes food look more appealing, which causes you to eat more – that could be one reason why so many restaurants have a dark ambiance. Conversely, if your kitchen is too bright, it can raise cortisol levels, which may result in increased fat storage. If you’re aiming for weight loss, studies suggest the best lighting for your kitchen is a 13-watt compact white fluorescent bulb: It’s a soft white light that produces a cold feel and inhibits appetite. Ideally you should have one bulb for every 20 square feet of your kitchen – whether it’s overhead lighting or lamps.”

3. Your dining plates are too big – Plate size can make a big difference in portion control. It’s our natural instinct to fill our plates. Our average plate size is now about 12 inches in diameter, but if you eat off a plate that is 10 inches in diameter, you’ll eat about 22% fewer calories. Experts suggest such a change could help you lose 2 pounds in a month. But don’t go out and buy all new dishes: Just try eating dinner off of your salad plates.”

4. Your healthy food shouldn’t be tucked away – “Did you know people are three times as likely to eat healthy food if it’s easily visible? Instead of keeping your veggies in the crisper, keep them on an eye-level shelf. That way, when you open your fridge to grab a snack, the first thing you’ll see is a healthy choice. Same goes for the cabinet and the candy dishes: Keep less healthy snacks out of sight, and you’re likely to keep them out of mind – and mouth!” Or, just don’t buy any unhealthy snacks!

5. The paint colour is making you hungry – “The colours of your kitchen could be affecting your appetite! Reds and yellows tend to grab your attention and fuel your appetite (think about the colour schemes for most major fast food chains). Blue, however, has been shown to be calming and also acts as an appetite suppressant. Not up for painting your kitchen? Consider switching to blue dishware, which can have the same subduing effect.”

6. Switch your scent to peppermint – “If you like to keep your house fresh by lighting candles or spritzing fragrance, make sure you’re using waist-friendly aromas. Instead of sticking with scents like lavender and sandalwood (which slow your body down and help you sleep), opt for peppermint, which is a proven natural appetite suppressant. One study determined that people who smelled mint every two hours ate 2,700 less calories per week!”

Now, how effective these tips are, that’s for you to decide. It doesn’t hurt to give it a try though!