Change Your Environment, Change Your Diet!

Hello Loyal Soup People! In the past, I’ve written about how environmental cues play a huge role in our dietary choices. I recently read about a study published by Dr. Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab that confirms and reinforces this idea. Dr. Wansink and his team have studied ways that people can modify their environments, resulting in behavioral changes and weight loss. For example, your plate size and the food choices of those around you are visual cues that can impact your behavior.

I wanted to share information about Dr. Wansink’s most recently published article in a scientific journal called Psychology and Marketing. In it, he talks about the CAN approach to food. CAN stands for Convenient, Attractive, and Normal. Quite simply, make nutritious choices easily accessible. Put out a bowl of clean, ready to eat fruit. Put the cookies on a high, un-accessible shelf. Dr. Wansink keeps unhealthy food in the laundry room! Keep single serving, pre-cut vegetables in the front of the refrigerator, not in the crisper bin. Keep a bowl of nuts on the table.

Quite simply, the more you make your food decisions automatic (“on autopilot” as he says), the more likely you are to make better food choices. If you are mindlessly snacking on the first thing you see – let the food be carrot sticks instead of pretzels. We are much more likely to lose weight by changing our environment and behavior than by sheer will power. By making these changes, the food habits will start changing automatically, without much thought. That’s the best way to lose weight, and change your eating habits for life!

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!