An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can certainly lead to weight gain. But there are many other factors that can also contribute to overeating and extra pounds. From poor eating habits to stress caused from, say, paying your monthly bills, people face many conflicts that affect not only their eating schedules, but also the number that appears on the scale.
Hereís what you can do to maintain a healthy diet:
Plate Size. Weíve always been told to eat everything on our plates. It is important to eat something from each part of the food pyramid during mealtime, but that doesnít mean you have to fill your entire plate. Did you know that since the 1970s, dinner plates have grown in size more than 25 percent? Take out a ruler to measure and youíll see that most dinner plates are 12 inches or more in diameter. Save calories and keep your waistline intact by eating on a smaller plate. Use your salad plate for steak, pasta and other higher-calorie foods and load up your dinner plate with veggies and healthier food items.
Wide Glasses. Much like larger plates, the size of drinking glasses can play a role in your weight. Next time you go to pour some soda, take a look at the glass youíre using. Chances are, itís a wide glass. Try using skinny glasses for juices and soda because they give the illusion that you are drinking more than you really are, tricking you into drinking less and feeling more satisfied. Keep the wider glasses for water and low-calorie beverages.
Tempting Treats. If you know Ė and see Ė that your favorite treats are within reach, chances are you will reach for that cookie or piece of candy. Sometimes just seeing food that tempts you will make you more likely to eat it, even if youíre not truly hungry. Hide those treats! Instead of leaving sweets out, store goodies in an inconvenient spot, like on a high shelf so you canít reach them, or in a tin that you canít see through. Better yet, replace these items with healthier substitutes such as low-fat yogurt, fruit and 100-calorie snack packs. Keep these front and center and eventually, youíll grab them instead of that big slice of chocolate cake.
Kitchen Hangout. Oftentimes, the kitchen is the largest room in a home. This room is where many activities happen including paying bills, doing homework and watching television. While youíre performing these tasks, you might start to mindlessly snack on food even when youíre not hungry. Take the television and computer out of the kitchen and try doing your bills in another room. With your food out of sight, itíll be out of your mind and out of your hands. Even taking a little step like turning off the kitchen lights will keep you out.
Light Bright. Who would have thought that the lights and their wattage could affect your eating habits? High-wattage lights can raise stress levels, triggering your appetite and causing you to eat more, and, even faster. You can use as much lighting as you need for preparing meals, but when it comes time for dinner, keep the lighting to a minimum by either dimming the setting or using lower wattage bulbs (no more than 250 watts is recommended).
These little changes will help lead to diet success!