HACKS TO FIX BAD FOOD HABITS

Can’t stop raid­ing the fridge for the cake? Nancy Mon­son shares a hand­ful of sim­ple tips to as­sist with self-con­trol, im­proved mood and a host of other ben­e­fits

Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - NUTRITION -

Not mak­ing great food choices ev­ery day? Take heart – you’re not alone. Our lives are too busy, the temp­ta­tion too great and our willpower too weak to try to eat mind­fully, Brian Wansink, food psy­chol­o­gist from Cor­nell Univer­sity in the US, says. Not only do we make more than 200 “nearly sub­con­scious” food de­ci­sions a day, but “willpower is hard and has to last a life­time”.

That said, it’s not an im­pos­si­ble task. Wansink says that a few sim­ple tweaks to our sur­round­ings and habits can have a ma­jor im­pact on eat­ing pat­terns – for big gains in nu­tri­tion and over­all health. Here’s how.

1CLEAR THE KITCHEN

Make the kitchen more about prac­ti­cal­ity than com­fort, so you’re less likely to spend time there. Take the TV, com­puter and other fun gad­gets out, as well as the com­fort­able seats around the counter. This can lead to spend­ing 18 fewer min­utes in the kitchen per day, which in turn can lead to less mind­less snack­ing, Wansink says.

2START THE NIGHT BE­FORE

Pressed for time? Make your breakfast smoothie and pop it in the fridge be­fore bed. “It’s a great way to get your nu­tri­ents on the go,” Fit­ness First trainer Leanne Te­soriero says.

5TAKE CON­TROL

Plate ap­pro­pri­ately por­tioned meals rather than al­low­ing fam­ily mem­bers to serve them­selves. Wansink’s stud­ies showed that this en­cour­aged peo­ple to eat 19 per cent less food in each sit­ting.

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