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6 Design Tips That Can Make You Healthier (Part I)

It’s not really a secret that our environment can exert major influence on our behavior, but most of us don’t think about it or, if we do, we think about in very broad terms ... like the weather.</br></br>The truth, though, is that environmental influence is always at play – especially in our own homes. And, it’s interesting to consider that when we make design and décor decisions in our homes very few of us think about how those choices are influencing our behavior.</br></br>Today, we’re going to focus on the first three of six factors you can control in your kitchen and dining room that can lead to healthier habits (featuring research provided by <a title="Cornell Food Psychology " href="http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/Consumption-ARN_2004.pdf" target="_blank">the University of Illinois</a> and <a title="Cornell Food Psychology" href="http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/op/dinnerrituals" target="_blank">Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab</a>):</br></br><strong>1. Cabinetry vs. Shelving</strong></br></br>Open shelving is an attractive design feature that increases convenience, and can come in handy when everyone is zipping around the kitchen during mealtimes. The issue, according to researchers, is that ease of access can lead to less thoughtful and more frequent food choices.</br></br>TIP: Store “fast” food items (candy, cookies, breakfast bars, etc.) behind closed doors. A little inconvenience can actually prevent overeating and encourage people to slow down and think about whether they’re even hungry.</br></br><strong>2. Uncomfortable Silences</strong></br></br>Studies show that comfort increases eating duration, and noise in particular can influence how long we linger in our kitchens, which inevitably leads to poking around for yummy treats. Science points to soft, soothing sounds as those being the most seductive, but tastes vary.</br></br>TIP: Add some fast-tempo music to any kitchen routine to keep things active. It may help make meal prep faster while decreasing the time left for distracted snacking.</br></br><strong>3. Chill Factor</strong></br></br>Temperature plays a significant role in how much we eat during mealtime, and it goes far beyond comfort level. Research indicates we eat more when it’s colder because our body naturally wants to maintain its core temperature, and eating food is a primary way of doing that.</br></br>TIP: Adjust the temperature slightly in your kitchen and dining room to discourage your body’s natural inclination to eat more when it’s chilly.</br></br>Check in tomorrow for the conclusion to our tips on design and décor that can help influence healthy decisions.
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