The Big House

Did you know that weight gain may not be as much about your willpower but more about how your home is decorated? How you store food and the color of your walls can have an impact on your eating habits as well as your stress levels. Continue reading to find out how your home might be luring you into eating less and gaining weight.

1. Red was the color you chose for your dining room

According to the Pantone Color Institute red can increase blood pressure, heart rate and appetite. Yellow is good for energy, happiness, and, you guessed it, appetite. You are subconsciously urging yourself to eat more if any rooms in your home are painted with warm colors like red, orange, and yellow.

Blue, on the other hand has been proven to suppress appetite. Blue is not a color that humans eat. It is more often used to indicate rot or mold, which can lead to illness. To curb cravings, paint your kitchen blue, get a blue light for the fridge, or use blue dishware for dinner.

2. You don’t need a pantry

You will eat junk food if you keep looking at junk food. According to Brian Wansink PhD, director of Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, “You are three times more likely than others to eat the first and fifth things you see.” Avoid bad food from upper cabinets and distant pantries to take advantage of the out-of sight, out-of mind effect. Healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts should be kept at eye level, either on the counter or in your refrigerator. You will be more likely to eat sugary or salty snacks when they are not there.

3. Your Kitchen is the Hub of Your Home

Change the traffic flow through your kitchen. Wansink’s Cornell lab also found that people who use the kitchen daily eat 15% more than those who do not. To avoid temptations, if your family uses the back or side door to the kitchen as their main entry point into the house, you should use the front door. You will be more inclined to indulge in mindless eating if you are working at the kitchen table or talking on the phone in the kitchen.

4. There are too many chairs and couches

A breakfast bar with lots of comfortable chairs encourages people to camp out in the kitchen. Excessive lounging can also be caused by a large living room filled with recliners. According to a 2005 Mayo Clinic study, obese people spent at least 150 more hours sitting each day than those who were lean. Living rooms should feel comfortable. However, if you plan to spend much time watching TV in your living room, keep manual exercise equipment like resistance bands and hand weights in a basket or storage ottoman. This will make them more accessible than storing them in a closet. Consider putting your treadmill in your living room so you can get in some exercise while watching your favorite TV shows.

5. You’ve Never Planted a Garden

Your diet will quickly become unhealthy if you don’t have fresh food. It’s best to grow them yourself. You’ll be more inclined to eat food you have worked hard to cultivate. Even if you don’t have the time or skills to plant a vegetable garden, you can still grow simple windowsill herbs to satisfy your cravings for healthy, fresh food. Jasmine’s scent can boost energy and help you get going. Lavender can help you sleep better and relax. Sleep deprivation is closely linked to weight gain. Peppermint aromas have been shown to reduce appetite. Wheeling Jesuit University found that people who ate peppermint every two hours for a week ate 1,800 fewer calories than those who were given a placebo.

Also see: The Best Plants to Grow a Healthy Organic Garden.

6. Your Dishes are Too Big

Brian Wansink, a Cornell University food psychologist and director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, says that people eat 92 per cent of what is on their plates. You’ll eat 22 percent more food if you use a 10-inch plate rather than a 12-inch one. Wansink also found that subjects who ate soup from a container with a hidden tube slowly refilling it had a 73 percent higher intake than those who ate from regular bowls. This was without feeling like they had eaten more. Don’t forget to take a break and eat from smaller china before refilling it again.

7. Your Bedroom is Not a Sanctuary

People who sleep less than 5 hours per night are more likely be obese than those who have 7 to 8 hours. A Stanford University study found that sleep deprivation can increase the hormone ghrelin which is an appetite stimulant and decrease leptin which is an appetite control. You can fix any problems you may be having with sleeping by investing in blackout curtains or better pillows. It is possible to stick to a consistent sleep schedule and avoid nicotine and caffeine at night. You might consider putting down your laptop and TV.

See Outfit Your Bedroom for a Better Sleep. For more tips, click here.

8. There is too much mood lighting

Restaurants turn down the lights for a reason. It’s not just to set the mood. According to a University of California-Irvine study, darkened rooms are more conducive to binging than brightly lit ones. This is because people feel less restricted in darkened areas. Well-lit kitchens will allow for better food preparation and discourage snacking. Bright lighting (and natural light) throughout your house will help you keep your energy up. However, if it is too bright you will eat faster and eat more before you feel full. You might consider changing the lighting settings to something in between a romantic restaurant and a blinding cafeteria.

9. A Great Room is Yours

The average house built in the past few decades is larger than older homes. This would make it easier to jog around the house more often. Large modern houses have a central great space where everything can be found on one level. This means that you only need to climb the stairs to get to bed. Don’t wait until the end to climb another level. Do not leave things at the bottom landing to be used on a future trip. Instead, go ahead and do a quick, heart-pumping run up the stairs. A 155-lb person burns about 10 calories per minute climbing stairs. You burn more calories the more you travel.

10. You are letting the machines take over

Many modern conveniences save time, but they also reduce calorie-burning potential. According to, scrubbing dishes by hand rather than letting the dishwasher do it can burn approximately 160 calories per hour. Do the job manually, instead of using blenders, mixers and electric can openers. Even if you don’t have a dryer, you can still use your clothesline. Carrying a full laundry bag from the laundry room upstairs to the yard and back up upstairs can save 100 calories. The vacuum can be used as a handheld device, but you could also use it to do half of the work and then switch to the other hand for an arm workout.

11. You Have a Killer Entertainment System

Music has the ability to soothe the soul and increase appetite. Georgia State University researchers found that people who listen to music tend to eat more and drink for longer periods of time. This is regardless of whether it’s soothing or crashing rock. Similar to the above, people eat more often when they are watching television. To prevent your dinners from becoming too hectic, turn off the TV and put down the music.

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