Pathways to Wellness

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Kitchen make over

Small, no cost changes in your kitchen can make it easier for you and your family to eat healthier.    Over the past 20 years, food psychologist Brian Wansink has discovered how small environmental cues trigger unhealthy eating.  See for yourself.

Other changes that will help you eat less than you do now:

  • Either eat or watch television – turn off the television during meals and avoid snacking in front of the TV.

    Why?  Watching television distracts us from paying attention to how much we are eating.
     
  • Re-package large boxes or bags of chips and cookies into smaller, individual packages.  Never eat directly from a package.  

    Why?  Big boxes “trick” us into thinking that healthy portions are bigger than they are, and we may eat until the box is empty instead of stopping when we are full.
     
  • Put vegetables and fruits on the table for second servings during meals but make yourself walk to the stove or counter to get more grains and meats.

    Why?  This makes it easier to eat the foods that should form the largest part of our diet – vegetables and fruits.    Having to get up from the table to get more grains or meat  creates a “pause point” that gives us time to consider whether we really want another serving.
     
  • Replace the cookie jar with a bowl of fruit.

    Why?  What we see is often what we eat. We eat more fruit when they are visible and within reach. The reverse is also true:  we are less likely to eat cookies, chips and candy when they are out of sight at the back of the cupboard.

Small changes like these help tip the balance so that we eat more of the healthier foods and less of the unhealthier foods. They also help us eat healthy portions.   A savings of even 100-150 calories per day – which is not even noticeable – adds up to about 15 lbs of weight over the course of a year!  The best diet is the one you don’t know you are on.

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