Weight loss: Changes in your kitchen to help you lose weight

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In regards to losing weight, you know the drill: Eat less, move more, repeat.

It’s a pretty|a miserable experience for most people, but what if you could lose weight by making changes in your home and in other places where you spend your day|places|areas? That is the message from Brian Wansink, author of the book “Lean by Layout: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life.”

“If you look at many dieters, they try to become slender by will power. They try to resist each and every thing. The issue of becoming slim by will power is it is a 24/7 sort of occupation, it’s never ending,” Wansink, who is also the director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, told TODAY Health.

“What we find is that by simply changing our immediate surroundings … it ends up leading people to mindlessly eat less.”

Get healthy by changing your kitchen up

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Get fit by changing up your kitchen

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It’s that mindless eating that both fascinates and frustrates Wansink, who says most individuals believe they make only 30 or so conclusions about food daily, when the number is really closer to 200.

And because people are unaware of most their decisions, it is very easy to let themselves be influenced by the things around them, such as the distance of the food from their hands or the size of their bowl.

Here are eight changes to make in your kitchen which could lead you to consume less. Wansink believes making just one change and sticking with it for 25 days might help you lose about 2 lbs a month.

1. De-clutter your kitchen

When participants in 1 experiment saw snack foods sitting on the counters of a kitchen which was very cluttered and disorganized, they ate about 44 percent greater than people who saw the very same snacks in a very neat kitchen.

“It is almost like if your environment is cluttered and out of control, why do I need to maintain control myself?” Wansink said.

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2. Avoid leaving food outside in your counters

Individuals who had chips or cookies visible in their kitchen counter weighed about 10 pounds more than people with nude counters, according to one study, Wansink said.

People who openly displayed breakfast cereal weighed about 21 pounds more and those who had soft drinks — even if they had been diet sodas — on the counter weighed 25 pounds more.

“Simply the existence of food ends up being a really powerful indication,” Wansink noted. Each time you pass with a cookie jar or a can of soda|a can of pop or a cookie jar, you have to ask yourself the question: Do I want one|question? The answer might be “no” 20 times in a row, but then “no’s” shortly start getting “maybe’s” and the 30th time you look at the snack, the answer will be “yes,” he added.

Easy tricks to help you quit mindless eating

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Easy tricks to help you quit mindless eating

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3. Make the kitchen a less attractive hangout

The more time people spend in the kitchen, the more they tend to consume, Wansink said. So instead of making your kitchen the destination place in the house, make it a little less “lounge-able”: Get rid of the TV set, have less comfortable chairs and make any other changes to send people on their way instead of inviting them to remain.

4. Put out a fruit bowl

Behold the power of fruit: The average person who has a fruit bowl in their home weighs 8 pounds less than their neighbor next door who doesn’t have one, Wansink said.

“Most of us do not think on a daily basis, ‘Oh I better get a piece of fruit.’ But if you see it seven times throughout the day, (you may think), ‘Oh, an apple seems pretty good,”’ he said.

The presence of a fruit bowl does not seem to make a difference at first, but people do start taking fruit from it after two weeks or so, he added|People do start taking fruit from it or so, he added, although the existence of a fruit bowl does not seem to make a difference at first|A fruit bowl’s existence doesn’t appear to make a difference but people do begin taking fruit from it after two weeks or so, he added|The existence of a fruit bowl does not appear to make a difference at first, but people do so, he added or begin taking fruit from it. For it to really|to be effective, it should be within two feet of a place where people walk or sleep, so a high-traffic area like the kitchen is ideal|For it to really|to be effective, it should be within two feet of a place where people walk or sleep, so a high-traffic area like the kitchen is ideal|It needs to be within two feet of a place where people walk or sleep, so a high-traffic area like the kitchen is best for it to really|to be effective|It should be within two feet of a place where people walk or sleep, so a high-traffic area like the kitchen is ideal, for it to truly|to be effective.

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5. Wrap tempting leftovers in the fridge in aluminum foil

“We’re very unlikely to unwrap things that are in aluminum foil, we are kind of lazy,” Wansink noted. So conceal anything fattening beneath aluminum, but keep covering healthy food in plastic wrap so you can really see it and be more likely to reach for it.

What’s in your refrigerator? Turning everyday staples into healthful meals

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What’s in your fridge? Turning everyday staples into healthy meals

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6. Downsize your plates, glasses and utensils

It’s hard to figure out the right amount of food to serve yourself, so you often end up using cues around you, like the size of your plate. But while 4 ounces of pasta on a 9-inch plate looks like a lot, the exact same amount on a 12-inch plate looks like an appetizer, so you may just add more pasta.

Simply downsizing your bowls or plates makes a difference: If you switch from a 12-inch to 10-inch plate, you’ll serve about 22 percent less, Wansink said.

If you use a table spoon rather than a “big honking serving spoon,” you’ll serve about 14 percent less, he added.

7. Hide crap food and other tempting snacks

Stash high-calorie snacks in an inconveniently placed cupboard — one that is way down low or way up high. So instead of having the snacks spread throughout the kitchen, where you will find chips or snacks|snacks or chips staring at you each time you|you open a cupboard door, reserve one semi place that retains the foods.

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8. Serve dinner off the stove or counter, instead of having serving dishes on the table

This is a particularly strong|a tip for guys, who tend to be eaters, Wansink said. They’ll often finish their dinner and see the rest of the family eating|see the rest of the family eating and finish their dinner, so they will have moments from the dishes on the table –|seconds|moments not because they are hungry, but just to pass the time while everyone is currently completing|completing their meal.

Having serving plates onto a rear stove or on a counter in the kitchen rather than right in front of diners helps because only having food at least six feet away makes a typical person eat nearly 20 percent less, Wansink noted. They can still have seconds or thirds if they want to, but they’re only a little less|just|only likely to get up again and again|They can have seconds or thirds if they want to, but they’re only a little less|just|only likely to get up again and again|They can still have thirds or seconds if they want to, but they’re just a little less|just|only likely to get up again and again.

This story was originally published in September 2014.

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