CLOSE THE DOOR ON CRAVINGS
Shunning sugar for this first week is going to be tough, so re-order your fridge to boost your chances of success
Unless you’re one of life’s true pedants (or have an overly intimate relationship with your fridge – there is therapy for that sort of thing), chances are you unpack your weekly grocery shop with as much thought as you give Sunday’s laundry. A triangle of Brie on the top shelf and milk on the inside of the door. Greens and yoghurt might get a slot on the second row, while the slab of chocolate cake – that somehow made it in there – sits glaringly up front. But be warned, new research shows where you put your food can have a big impact on how much you eat, so it’s time to become fridge aware. Here’s how to stack – and snack – yourself slimmer.
Ever open your fridge and feel like it’s an outtake from TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive? We know the feeling. What we bet you didn’t know, though, is research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found a cluttered fridge can quash your willpower. Nutritionist and weight-loss coach Nicky Anstey explains that in a busy fridge, the bright, attractive packaging of less healthy products distracts you from the more earthy colours of your fresh produce – there’s a reason McDonald’s chose a red and yellow colour scheme. Both these colours have been proven to boost your appetite, particularly red, which signals ripeness and sweetness, according to research published in the Journal of Sensory Studies. So ditch the strawberry cheesecake and replace it with red- or yellow-hued healthy snacks. Bring on the peppers.
MAKE EYE CONTACT
“Place your healthiest snacks and food with the most nutrients at eye level,” says eating and behavioural therapist James Lamper. “So if you get the munchies, they’ll be the first thing you see when you open the fridge.” According to a US study, you’re 2.7 times more likely to eat healthy food if it’s in your line of sight. If you want to go the extra mile, store your naughty treats at the back of the fridge and the bottom of the pile. A study led by nutritional behaviour professor Dr Brian Wansink suggests the more inconvenient the location of your chocolate, the less likely you are to reach for it.
BUY BIG, EAT SMALL
A study published in the Journal of Marketing found that people eat larger quantities of junk food if it’s kept in clear packages. The same research also showed that when your naughty treats are bite-sized, you’re more likely to eat more. (Our advice: buy the bowling ball of Edam rather than seductive mini cheeselings.) And keep your chocolate and cheese in opaque Tupperware at the back of the fridge. Plus, if you can, make the containers blue. Studies show that blue is an appetite suppressant.