Is Your Home Making You Fat?

Can good interior design really make you more svelte?

With all of the talk today about obesity and healthy eating it strikes me that our homes can contribute to our health! I know it seems impossible to believe that our safe haven, our shelter, our crib can actually contribute to weight gain! And without us even knowing it! I’m not suggesting you get off the tread mill just yet, but there are some interesting facts and changes that you may consider if solving the battle of the bulge is high on your list of priorities!

dinner-plates.jpgSince the 1950’s dinner plate sizes have gradually increased from 7” to 9” to now reaching 11” and 12” in diameter. When we fill our plates we are easily doubling our calorie intake simply because there is more room on the plate to cover.

In addition, the interior depth of kitchen cabinets have had to catch up in order to accommodate larger size dinner plates or the doors won’t close. If you have a kitchen built before or during the 1970’s and you have a new set of dishes, you may find that your dinner plates hang over the edge of the shelf. New cabinets are now at least 13” deep whereas they once were only 11” deep. That’s a big difference when you consider how big our plates (and bellies) have become.

Also with the opening up of spaces between the kitchen and family room a lot of how we eat has changed as well. Some research suggests that eating without distraction will make you mindful of the calories you inhale so you are more likely to trigger a full response quickly. But with open concept living, the television has become visible from all spaces and it is definitely a distraction! It is unlikely that this way of living is going to change so limiting the television’s presence during meal time maybe essential to draw your attention back to food.

And yes, one more comment about the television. Should it be in the master bedroom or not? Well, if you are watching your weight perhaps barring the tv from this room is a better option. Not only does watching late night television commercials tempt you with snacks at your most vulnerable moments but it can also interrupt your sleeping patterns.

Sleep, as widely noted, has a lot to do with our ability to withstand caloric temptation throughout the day. The more tired we are, the more we reach for treats to keep us going. I know it seems impossible that the lounge time in your room mindlessly watching tv can really hurt you but if tv is stimulating your mind then it may be interfering with your ability to really relax and sleep deeply.

Of course, there are positive things that your home can do to add to weight loss!

Placing a bowl of fruit on the counter is more likely to keep people from snacking on unhealthy items. (Dr. Oz did a whole segment on this!) I would even suggest that red and orange coloured fruit in a bowl is more likely to attract attention as red has been shown to be a “reach out and touch” colour, so include red apples, peaches, raspberries tempt you further.

Blue light is said to discourage appetite so perhaps installing a cool compact fluorescent bulb as the interior fridge light will help to reduce the removal of snacks from the fridge at midnight. And wall colours such as icy blue and green have an immediate psychological response of reduced appetite. (the effect diminshes over the course of minutes) So these might be good colour choices for the kitchen walls!

Naturally, there is no guarantee but any little bit may help. Unfortunately, as I read this over I realize that my house is definitely making me fat, and it has nothing to do with the pastry and coffee sitting next to me as I write!