Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tip of the Day: Make it Easy

I'll be the first to admit that grabbing some fruits or veggies to snack on when you're really hungry isn't always the first choice.  We all know it should be, but sometimes that nice glass bowl of mini chocolate bars at the office gets the better of us.  (Or pretzels.  Or chips.  Or...)  Actually, it's not really our faults; it's science.  Some years ago I read about a Cornell study that found that people are likely to eat more candy in the office if it's out and visible (and even if we're not hungry).  See?  It's not us, it's science.

The good news is that we can use this info to our benefit.  Put out the healthy stuff.  If you see it, you're more likely to eat it.  A bowl of blueberries or strawberries, or keep cut up veggies on a plate in the fridge so that when you open the door, lo and behold: crudite!  Do some prep work ahead of time and you'll enjoy the fruits (or veggies) of your labor for a few days while you righteously snack on fruits and veggies.  (Check you out!)

Also, there's another Penn study that shows that we eat more when there's more variety, even if that variety is just perceived and not actual.  For instance, "People tend to eat more when there are three bowls of mashed potatoes on the table instead of one, or when they can choose between five different types of red gummy candy, even if the only difference is in the shape."

Again, we can use this to our advantage.  If you load up your counter with apples, bananas, oranges, berries, tomatoes, etc., and your fridge with bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, celery, zucchini, etc., you just might eat more of the good stuff.  (And according to the Penn study, your kids might too.)  

Plus, snack time is a great time to get in extra fruits and veggies, so make it easy on yourself.  Do the prep work in advance so that when you're looking for something to grab, you end up scarfing that gorgeous rainbow of fresh stuff (instead of something with strange chemicals and a barcode).  Make it easy on yourself, and celebrate your healthy victories!  


No comments:

Post a Comment