Change Your Environment, Change Your Body

It’s 10:00 in the evening, the kids are finally in bed, you’ve been going non-stop since sunrise and you want a snack.

You open the fridge. There’s a container of leftovers, a granny smith apple, some red grapes and aha! – a package of Hostess Cupcakes.

You reach for the cupcakes.

While most of us strive to eat well, the actions we take don’t always sync up with our goals.

We don’t set out to overeat – or choose unhealthy foods. No one wants to become overweight. So why are two thirds of Americans classified as overweight or obese?

Your brain is to blame.

The problem doesn’t have to do with a lack of willpower or not knowing what to eat. Our neurological response to food has evolved over millions of years. During most of that time food was difficult to come by. Today, by comparison, we’re bombarded by cheap + highly palatable food everywhere we turn. And our brain chemistry is such that it wants the sugar + salt + fat over the apple.

So what can we do? Because living primitively just isn’t an option.

The very best way to regulate these instincts is to design your environment in such a way that it nudges you toward making healthier choices.

In other words, keep healthy stuff near you and convenient. Make your routines and environment work for you, rather than against you.

Keep unhealthy stuff away from you and inconvenient. Make it hard for unhealthy stuff to get to you. If it doesn’t help you reach your goals, you don’t need it near you.

When faced with the choice between a cookie and an apple, our brain will ALWAYS favor the cookie.

If you want to lose weight and maintain that weight loss, a kitchen makeover is perhaps the best way to set yourself up for success.

Here are some steps you can take…

  1. Consider purchasing smaller quantities of (or getting rid of) “red-light foods.” Red-light foods are foods that are just bad news for you. Maybe they make you feel sick, or they trigger you to eat too much, or you know they’re an unhealthy choice for you. If it’s not there in the first place, you won’t have to resist + use willpower.
  2. If you or members of your family aren’t ready to part with certain red-light foods, consider putting them in hard to reach or out of the way places.
  3. Keep the treats that others like, but you don’t find to be an overeating trigger. (e.g. if your spouse likes strawberry ice cream, but you’re not a fan, consider that a potential win-win situation.)
  4. Stock up on healthy foods + snacks that you like. Put them in places where they’re easily accessible.

Most of our food decisions have nothing to do with physical hunger, but are determined instead by what and who is around us, along with our habits and familiar routines.

By changing your environment — even just a little bit — you can set yourself up for success.

XO ~Robyn

I work with courageous + determined women who are ready to say goodbye to yo-yo dieting for good. We’ll use a sustainable, practice-based approach to build healthy habits into your life, one day at a time for an entire year.

The result? You’ll develop healthy habits that become second nature and last a lifetime. You’ll lose the weight (and inches) you haven’t been able to shed – for good.

If this resonates with you, CLICK HERE for details on how to work with me.