How to Eat Better by Making Healthy Food More Visible
We tend to assume that eating is mostly a physical act, but the mind has so much to do with the choices we make.
We've already shown you how clenching your fist can lead to better food choices and how you can trick yourself into choosing better meals at restaurants. Now by simply rearranging your kitchen cupboards and refrigerator, you can steer clear of processed foods and improve your diet.
Professor Brian Wansink, who teaches nutritional science at Cornell University, and his team of researchers discovered that where food is placed influences what we consume. The researchers documented the contents of 100 cupboards and asked the owners to track what they ate. Simultaneously, they rearranged the cupboards of other study participants and tracked their eating habits.
They discovered that keeping unhealthy foods out of sight and having healthy foods be easily visible had a big impact on what the study's subjects ate.
Wansick said, "We found a really strong tendency towards the food which is visible. If you put your least healthy food at the front of the cupboard or refrigerator, that's the one you are most likely to eat. You are much less likely to eat the fifth or tenth item you see when you come home tired from work."
Prevention Australia points out that you can further your own better impulses by making sure that fruits and vegetables are prepped in advance, making it even easier for you to reach in and grab a salad instead of a leftover empanada. The Kitchn recommends putting fruits and veggies on the middle shelf of your fridge, right where your eyeline naturally falls.
Meg shows off some of these tips in her SparkPeople video below, as well as some other fridge organization tips for lazy cooks.
Of course, it also helps to know how your refrigerator works when you're organizing it. Certain areas, like the top shelf and door units, are warmer than the back bottom shelves. Be sure to check out Yumi's illustrated guide on maximizing your refrigerator's efficiency.
Over at Lifehacker, commentor Dave pointed out that this tactic can work to encourage kids to have healthy eating habits, too. Make sure to place fruit and veggie on lower shelves where kids will see them (and can reach for them) and place "sometimes" foods higher up out of reach or just plain out of sight.
Interested in more ways to work around bad eating habits? Learn how to drink less wine effortlessly, take photos to appreciate your meals more, boost your immune system by fasting, and prevent fights by snacking more.