How Your Home And Neighborhood Affect Your Eating

January 7, 2019  |  
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When you choose a neighborhood, you focus on things like…proximity to your work, the school district, nearness to friends, safety, closeness to public transportation, and things like that. When you choose a home you think of how many bedrooms you need (do you have guests often? Do you plan on having kids?), how many bathrooms you and your partner will need to get along well, the newness of appliances, and other practical matters such as those. But rarely do we think of how our surroundings affect the way we eat, and wow do they affect the way we eat. You know that sounds, smells, and even colors influence what we consume and how much we consume. So it only makes sense that our homes and neighborhoods—places we spend a lot of time—affect what we eat. We just don’t quite notice it…at first. Here is how your home and neighborhood affect your eating habits.

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Tiny kitchens

Nobody wants to spend much time in a tiny kitchen. If you pick an apartment with a tiny kitchen, thinking, “It’s okay—I rarely cook anyways!” it’s time to change your thinking. Pick a place with a kitchen that makes you want to cook, since meals made at home are healthier than those bought out.

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Massive kitchens

A massive, cavernous kitchen can have its downfalls, too. These feel so decadent and luxurious that they put you in an indulgent mindset. You want to buy lots of food. You want to cover your counters with bowls of nuts and packaged snacks. You want to make eight times the portions you need. Just because your kitchen is commercial size doesn’t mean you need to buy enough food for a business.

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Supermarket deserts

Do you live in a supermarket desert? What I mean is, is the closest supermarket not close at all? If you have to drive 20 minutes or more just to grocery shop, you probably won’t do it often, and you’ll resort to ordering in.

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Proximity to savings clubs

Maybe you thought getting a place right next to Costco, Sam’s Club, and similar savings clubs would help you save money. What it actually means is that you’ll always shop there, rather than visiting smaller markets, and you’ll buy food in bulk that you don’t need.

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Nearness to fast food

If you live in the middle of fast food boulevard, you’re just bound to have fast food more than necessary. Even if you restrict yourself to picking it up just twice a week, if you lived far away from such restaurants, you wouldn’t eat it at all. The smell of fried food is hard to resist day after day after day…

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Nearness to Farmer’s Markets

Even if you can’t walk to your Farmer’s Market, find out if your prospective neighborhood has a Farmer’s Market. That’s usually an indicator that nearby restaurants use healthy and local ingredients. Plus, you’ll feel more motivated to buy fresh produce.

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Table in the kitchen

Is your dining table pretty much inside your kitchen? That puts you so close to the platter of food on the countertops—near that intoxicating smell. You’ll grab more second and third servings if the table is barely three feet from the kitchen.

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Bedroom/kitchen proximity

We’re lazy creatures, and yet we love to snack. Our laziness works to our advantage when our bedroom is on the opposite side of our home from the kitchen—it’s just not worth it to get out of bed and grab chips. But if your bedroom is right next to the kitchen, you’re bound to snack more.

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Neighborhood demographic

While it feels like we’re not allowed to talk about it, it would be healthier if we did talk about it: different demographics praise or discourage certain body types. Ultimately, what’s important is that you feel happy in your skin (and that your doctor says you’re in healthy condition). But if you live in a neighborhood where the demographic considers plus-size figures attractive, you may find yourself putting on weight.

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Kitchen islands

A lot of people dream of having kitchen islands, but once they get them, they snack too often. Kitchen islands just beg you to lie out platters of cheese and salami, and bottles of wine. Suddenly, you’re having appetizer and cocktail hour every night—you didn’t do that before you had a kitchen island.

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Limited parking

If you live in a major city, then you know that parking can be a major problem. If your place doesn’t come with a parking spot, you may dedicate anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes a day finding parking, and walking home from your parking spot. If that’s the case, you just don’t feel like grocery shopping once you’re already settled in. You can’t risk losing that spot. So you order delivery.

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Living near friends

It’s nice to live within walking distance of lots of friends. But just keep in mind that that means everyone will want to get together for barbecues and brunches often. And that means you’re bound to eat and drink more.

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Upstairs from a convenience store

If you live right upstairs or just a block away from a convenience store, you’ll wind up bringing home lots of non-essentials like candy, popcorn, beef jerky, and booze.

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Massive pantries

Some kitchens have massive pantries. That doesn’t mean you’re obligated to fill them up. Food that goes in pantries tends to also contain lots of preservatives—it’s just not the healthiest stuff. You don’t stock fresh produce in pantries.

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A dark home

Does your home not get much natural light? This can leave you feeling as if you’re hibernating for the winter, and wanting to carb-load. It can also just make you feel depressed, so you emotionally eat. Make sure to brighten up your home, especially in the fall and winter.

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