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Tips for controlling your food environment

By Tasha McRae

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When we first begin trying to change our diet to eat healthier, it can be hard. Simply seeing food can cue us to want to eat it. So, when you are trying to make a change in your diet it is more difficult if your environment is filled with unhealthy foods that might trigger you to eat.

At LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic we coach our members to set themselves up for success by doing an audit of their food environment. Here are some some tips to help you control your food environment so that you will have more success with healthy eating:

  1. Clean out the cupboards of foods that are triggers for you. If you know a certain food is there, you will likely eat it in a weak moment! If it is not an available option, you won’t!

  2. When you are grocery shopping, do not buy tempting, unhealthy foods and bring them into your home. Stick with healthy items on your grocery list.

  3. Keep healthy snacks within easy reach. For example: keep cut up veggies in the fridge, ready to snack on when hunger strikes.

  4. If you must have problem foods in your environment (perhaps because someone else in your home bought them), keep them out of your line of sight. Research shows that foods that are in plain view trigger you to consume them even though you may not be hungry. Just push them a little father back in the cupboard so they aren’t plain view every time you open it.

  5. Skip commercials on TV or walk away during commercial breaks. Even looking at food on TV can make us feel hungry and kickstart cravings.

  6. Be careful about where you eat, not just what you eat. Try to make it a habit to only eat at your dining table, not on the couch, while reading, standing or watching TV etc. This way you will be intentional about your eating so you can avoid mindless overeating.

  7. If you have unhealthy leftovers from a party or gathering send them home with others or throw them away. Do not keep unhealthy party leftovers to finish off yourself.

We hope you have enjoyed these tips. If you would like to find out more about our supervised exercise and health coaching programs at LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, consider booking a free Program Consultation with us.

Tasha McRae, BHK, ACSM, CES/CET, is a certified exercise physiologist and Director of Programs and Training at LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic