Set up your living room for success
If you tend to eat while watching TV, using the computer, or just generally vegging out, you’ll be less aware of your satisfaction level and more likely to overdo it. The solution: Break the connection between viewing and snacking. How? Simply use these tips to replace one not-so-healthy habit with a better one.
Action plan: Living room
- Clear space in the center of the room so you can do stretches and toning moves while you watch your favorite shows. Talk about active viewing!
- Shift your seating so it’s more conducive to interacting or playing games with family. And when you’re enjoying these activities, keep the TV turned off and leave any food in the kitchen.
- Get up and move during commercials. Lunges, planks, walking around—pick your favorite ways to move. Challenge yourself to squeeze in more reps with each commercial break.
- Sip herbal tea or flavored seltzer. If you feel the urge to snack, grab a cup of tea or water first. Experiment with flavors until you find one that feels like a treat. Or keep SmartPoints®-friendly cut-up vegetables and fruit on hand to munch on alone or add to your water bottle.
- Fold laundry to keep busy. Make chores fly by: Stand and fold laundry while you watch your favorite show.
- Scale back on trays and tables, which make mindless eating way too convenient. If there’s no place to rest a bag of chips, you’re less likely to bring it into the room to begin with.
- Keep candy, nuts, and alcohol hidden. Some of us keep a bowl with snacks, candy, and other entertaining-friendly eats out on display. Don’t—there are only so many times you’re going to walk past the bowl without grabbing a handful.
- Beware of trigger smells. Ever catch a whiff of a “birthday cake” or “cinnamon bun” candle and suddenly get the urge to eat something sweet? That’s no coincidence: Just smelling a delicious aroma can make you physically crave a food. “When it comes to hunger, cravings for certain foods are more about craving aromas,” says Alan Hirsch, MD, neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. Avoid the decadent food-scented candles and try a fragrance that suits your mood.
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