Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Trying to snack less? Change how you store food

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, less mindless snacking is a good thing.  For someone who is type 1, mindless snacking means you might not know how much insulin to give yourself, in addition to the potential of eating too much and gaining weight.  For someone who is type 2, you're probably needing to watch your caloric intake and hopefully lose weight.

New studies show that snacking can be influenced by how you store food.

How We Store Food At Home Could Be Linked To How Much We Eat

The findings really aren't groundbreaking: The more visible food is, the more we eat it.  So if you have a habit of storing food where it's easily accessible in our most commonly occupied areas, such as next to a favorite chair or at your desk, you're going to snack more, simply because it's there and accessible and visible.
Starting in 2013, Emery and his colleagues went into the homes of 100 people, half of whom were medically obese. They took notes on what kind of food people had in their homes, how much they had and where they kept it.

In their findings, published in April in the International Journal of Obesity, the researchers note that the people who were not obese were inclined to have less cold storage like refrigerator space and less food in the home.

But they also found obese participants tended to keep more food visible in the places they spent the most time compared to non-obese people. If the bedroom was one of their favorite places at home, then snacks were also usually there in plain sight. In other words, food was almost always close at hand for the obese individuals. "It doesn't take a big leap of faith to say if you're spending most of your time where there's more food sitting out to see, that's going to make it harder not to eat," Emery says.

Like I said, it's not really groundbreaking.  It's bordering on obvious, and yet so many people make this mistake.

If you want to cut back on how much you snack, try storing food where you won't see it all the time and trigger cravings.  Put it in containers and store it in the pantry or in cupboards.

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