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Is your house making you fat?

FAT ZONE?: Your home could be the source of weight gain

DON’T SIMPLY blame a love of fattening treats for your expanding waistline. These days, our homes are filled with hidden fat traps, according to a new study by Professor Brian Wansink from Cornell University in the US.

Here, we reveal some simple ways to tweak your home (and the way you use it) to benefit your body.

STEP AWAY FROM THE TV


Step away from the screens: avoid watching TV or using the laptop during meals

Professor Wansink recently found participants in his study lost up to 2lb a month just by switching off their TV during mealtimes. Wansink explains, “It’s because you don’t pay attention to how much you’re eating when you’re in front of the television, so you’re more likely to carry on eating, even after you’re full.’
Nutritionist and Healthy Food Guide expert Amanda Ursell agrees. “Lots of research backs up the theory that turning off your TV during meals makes you eat less,” she says. “When we’re less aware of what we put in our mouths, it’s easy to overeat. Our brain just doesn’t register when we’ve had enough.”

TRY THIS:
If there’s a TV in the room where you eat, switch it off at mealtimes, or eat somewhere else. “The same theory applies to browsing on your laptop,” adds Ursell. “Turn that off, too.”

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TURN UP THE LIGHTS


Bright idea: keep the lights on at mealtimes and save romantic dinners for special occasions

Researchers at the University of California discovered that dieters eat more when they’re in darker rooms than when in a brightly lit environment.

This may be because food seems even more appealing in a dim light, which encourages overeating – or simply that a darker environment makes us less worried about what we’re eating. Sadly, candlelight is no exception, according to Professor Wansink.

TRY THIS:
Save the romantic atmosphere for special occasions! For regular meals, blow out those candles, turn up your dimmer switch or move to a brighter room to eat. Your waistline will thank you for it!

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TURN DOWN THE HEATING


Feeling hot hot hot: don’t have your heating too high

A new study from University College London, published in Obesity Reviews, found warm houses may make us fatter. When we’re chilly, our bodies burn more calories in an effort to stay warm through shivering.

The study authors found the temperature of our houses has steadily increased over the years, with the average temperature in a British home now being 21.3°C, compared with 18.3°C around 30 years ago. Experts agree turning down the heating a little could help our bodies burn more energy, so we lose weight over time.

TRY THIS:
It’s an easy one – turn down your thermostat by 1–2°C. You’ll save on bills, too!

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Read the full feature in the December issue of Healthy Food Guide, out now. For more information, visit www.healthyfood.co.uk

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