Resolutions You Can Keep
Want to Stop Smoking?
Cooking with Shrimp
Decorate to Lose
The Benefits of Vitamin C
Wine: Yes or No?
What Are Digestible Carbs?
Recipes: Chicken & Pecans
Review: Tony Romas
Getting Enough Sleep
Happy New Year!
A Breakfast treat
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The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
The key to low carb weight loss is supposed to be simple: Eat less carbs, no sugar, no junk, and
plenty of healthful veggies and protein. Unfortunately, that's often not quite as easy as it sounds.
If your spouse isn't bringing home a jumbo-size bag of potato chips, you're
faced with the candy jar at work. If it's not your friend's birthday party that conflicts with
your favorite class at the gym, it's must-see TV. Believe me, in this world of carbs-are-king, we
need all the help we can get.
Step 1: Turn on the lights.
So let's look at our surroundings. Do they help, or hurt your weight loss efforts? It's
possible that you need to decorate to lose!
Here are some surprising tricks to help transform your home into a diet success zone.
You won't need any costly gadgets or special books, but you will need a paintbrush, some candles,
a mirror and an open mind. Here are eight ways to revamp your dining-room decor in order to bolster
your diet efforts; keep your will strong; and help you continue to shed those pounds!
Research says to do it with the lights on. A recent University of
California, Irvine study of more than 400 people found that dieters are more likely to binge when
the lights are dim. "When you're under bright lights, you're more aware of yourself and what you
do," says study author Joseph Kasof, Ph.D. "But when the lights are dim, you're less focused on
your actions." In other words, diffuse lighting lowers inhibitions, making you more likely to
reach for a heaping helping of pasta.
Step 2: Hang a mirror.
Giving the old adage "Watch what you eat" new meaning, a study at Iowa
State University found that people who ate carby, junky snacks in front of a mirror ate 22% less
than those who weren't gazing at their reflection. (Interestingly, subjects didn't consume
less healthy foods or vegetables, probably because they saw those foods as good for
them.) Hang a mirror in your dining room or on the fridge to keep you from diving headfirst into
Step 3: Light a scented candle, but keep the lights bright.
Think yummy smells spell diet danger?
Think again! A study at St. George's Hospital in London found that people who wore a vanilla-scented
skin patch lost nearly five pounds after just four weeks of wearing the stick-on. Participants
reportedly ate less sugar and had fewer chocolate cravings. Don't have a patch? Simply light a
vanilla-scented candle whenever you crave sugar, or keep one lit during dinner.
Step 4: Close the door.
If your kitchen and dining room occupy a big open space or you have a
clear view of the kitchen from your eating nook, "you'll find it much easier to head straight
to a snack," says San Francisco feng shui practitioner Gunda Vitols. The simple solution: Install
a door, a drape or a screen between the two rooms to obstruct the view.
Step 5: Hang a seascape.
While your bowl-of-fruit watercolor or campy chocolate bar ad from the 1950s
seems to be a perfect fit in your kitchen, you may want to consider an art switcheroo. "Art related to
food or eating makes you think about — and crave — food," says Vitols. Replace your wall hanging with
a painting of a landscape, a vase of flowers or an abstract print. Unless, of course, you happen to
own a painting of a bowl of pork rinds...
Step 6: Pick up a paintbrush.
Red or orange walls are bad for any diet. Those colors stimulate the
appetite, especially orange.
Blue and lavender have been shown to be an appetite suppressant. But be
careful of using too deep a blue... it can signify or magnify feelings of depression or sadness.
Consider Sky Blue — it may bring images of a clear sunny day, a pristine lake, freshness... all things
that elevate the mood, while taking us away from thoughts of food.
Or think about using a Lilac
or Wisteria. Both convey a feeling a grandeur and power, while minimizing appetite.
Step 7: Set the table for one.
You may think that eating with friends is good for your
diet — after all, how much can you eat when you're gabbing nonstop? Think again.
According to researchers at Georgia State University, those who dine with friends and family
swallow 44% more calories than solo diners, and pay less attention to healthy eating habits,
preferring to eat "normally" (which in our society means processed, carb filled foods.) And the more
dinner-mates you have, the more — and worse — you eat. When you do dine with others,
make a conscious effort not to keep up with the group, or mirror their choices.
Step 8: Turn off the television.
Researchers at UCLA and Swarthmore College found that dieters ate
more snacks while they were concentrating on memorizing picture slides than did
those who didn't have to look at the visuals. That's probably because you're more likely to eat
when you're distracted. So when dinner's ready, turn off the television, and shut off