Is your home sabotaging your weight loss?

home sabotage

Sometimes it seems like everything is set up to destroy your weight loss goals. When your well-meaning coworker brings in the most delicious of all sweets. When your husband suggests KFC after a particularly shitty day. The entire existence of KFC, in fact.

But there may be a true saboteur in your everyday life. And you are the one who is fueling this saboteur.

If you didn’t read the title, this may be a surprise, but I am talking about your home.

Your home has a direct correlation with how you live. Well duh, you live inside it. It reflects you, you reflect it. Now that you have the goal of becoming an Eventually Former Fatty, it’s time your home stopped sabotaging you and started working in your favor.

Are you tempting yourself?

Cookie Monster

Be honest: do you keep junk food in your house? Do you keep any food in your house that is not consistent with your goals? Why would you do this to yourself? Aren’t there enough temptations in this world without you providing yourself with more? Keeping junk food in your house while you are working toward a weight loss goal is straight up insane.

I want you to imagine Cookie Monster. What if I said “Now Cookie Monster, cookies are a sometimes food and for the sake of your health, I want you to only eat one cookie a week. By the way, I’m going to keep this 24-pack of cookies right here. But you stick to your guns here.”

What is our furry blue friend going to do? Is he going to say “okay” and live a carefree life without cookies?

Of course not. He’s a MONSTER, dipshit. He’s going to hilariously glance back and forth for a few seconds and then down the whole package and hate himself afterward. He’ll probably sing about it too.

Cookie Monster

Get those foods that need to become sometimes foods out of your house. Make it really inconvenient to get your hands on them. If you start craving chips and you have them in your cabinet, it won’t take much for you to give in. They are right there. No one has to know. Not even MyFitnessPal.

But if you have to go to the store and get them, you are going to start thinking to myself “Am I really that dedicated to these chips?” If the answer is yes, by all means, go get yourself a single serving. But if you can just say “Nah. Not worth getting dressed and going out.” Then you have won. And winning is great.

Keep this rule of thumb in your head:

If it goes into your shopping cart, it goes into your home. If it goes into your home, it goes into your belly. If you don’t want it in your belly, don’t put it in your shopping cart.

Are Healthy Foods Easily Accessible?

I’m sure that when you first decided to lose the weight, you went out and bought some “healthy” foods. But how much work and preparation did you do to ensure that these foods were the easiest option for you when things get hectic?

Pop quiz:

You come home starving and you need food RIGHT NOW! The longest you would possibly be able to wait before keeling over and DYING is four minutes. What food do you reach for?

Do you have something healthy you can quell that craving with? A bowl of fruit on the counter? Low calorie meals carefully packed in single serving sizes in the fridge and freezer? A nut-filled granola bar? Yogurt? Anything?

If you have made the effort to make healthy foods the most accessible items in your house, you will eat them more often. That is a fact. It is easier to stay motivated when you make the healthy things the easiest of all available options.

Do you store your foods the right way?

If you make a big pot of delicious soup or a delectable healthy casserole, how do you determine portion size? If you decide that a recipe makes 8 portions, are you keeping all those portions equal?

I’ll give you a hint: storing your foods in single servings will help you to stay on track.

Consider this: Let’s say you make a big batch of puppy chow (sometimes called muddy buddies) with someone. Then you have this bowl of gooey chocolate wrapped in powdered sugar. You just have to take a bite. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Wait, where did that big bowl go?

Sound familiar?

To quote Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed “Someone ate this entire pie. I don’t know how that happened.” Notice her pie wasn’t cut?

If you make the puppy chow, or pie, or whatever metaphor is happening right now, and immediately store it in single-serving packages, you are more likely to stop. Why? Because psychology.

You ate the puppy chow from the bowl because you were just having a LITTLE bit repeatedly. It’s not a real serving if you just eat a little bit at a time, right? But if they had been in single-serving bags, you probably wouldn’t have had that much because opening a second bag would alert you to the fact that you were having another serving.

Immediately after you make something, dish it into single-serve, reusable containers. This will make your food instantly accessible AND
will make your calorie counting more accurate.

This is the kitchen of someone with far better organization skills than me.  I bow to a skill far greater than my own.

This is the kitchen of someone with far better organization skills than me. I bow to a skill far greater than my own.

Do you remind yourself of your goals?

Sometimes, when life gets hectic, it is easy to forget that you aspire to live differently. You need to remind yourself.
Some people choose to leave themselves sticky notes on the mirror or on the fridge. I personally have a token, a necklace with the words “Arise. Persist. Transform.” stamped into metal. I got it for myself when I lost 10% of my initial bodyweight as a way of rewarding myself without food. I keep it on top of my phone (which doubles as my alarm) when I take it off at night so that when my alarm sounds in the morning, it is the first thing I touch. It is a tangible reminder that I have goals to meet.

Whatever works for you, make sure that your home reminds you that your priorities have changed.

Did you buy the wrong plates?

In general, I don’t put much stock in the claims that buying different plates will make you lose weight, but I wanted to share the research behind dinnerware nonetheless.

Getting different plates will not magically make you lose weight, however tricking your brain with different plates can’t hurt while you are taking the bigger steps like counting calories and aiming for movement goals.

Here’s the scoop:

The size of your plates may be wrong. If you use normal dinner plates, these may be encouraging you to eat more.

Let’s say that you have a 4 ounce piece of chicken. That is about the size of a cassette tape, or for the younger crowd, around the size of the original iPhone. Let’s say you plop it in the middle of a big plate. There it is, all alone, with expansive nothingness around it. Your perception is that you are eating a little bit of chicken.

But if you put it on a smaller plate, where there is not so much space around it, that same piece of chicken suddenly seems like plenty of chicken.

For the people out there who like to know things, this is called the Delboeuf illusion, which focuses on our perceptions regarding relative size, or the size of something based on the somethings around it.

Here is a rudimentary image representing this illusion:
Delboeuf Illusion

Oh, and the COLOR of your plates may be wrong. Red, yellow, and black tend to be colors that inspire consumption. This is not new. When you think of your favorite neighborhood fast food chain, what colors did they choose for their logo? For the interior of their establishment.

Unless it was Taco Bell, it is probably red, yellow, and black. Observe:
Fast Food logos

So to counteract this, you should use one of those cooler-colored plates. Blue plates are supposedly the holy grail of inhibiting you from overeating.

So blue salad plates. That’s where it’s at. I’ll just leave these here.



Is clutter inhibiting your movement?

Have you ever had a bunch of stuff on the floor that made you step around your home like it was an obstacle course? That’s not really an ideal way to live in general, but it is especially not an ideal way to live if you are trying to move more every day.

If you are working toward moving more, you need some room in which to move around. And in your house, that means walking. Is your house arranged in such a way that promotes walking around? If not, it is time to declutter and re-arrange!

Set up your home for success and you will be successful. Put systems in place that support you, not ones you have to live through. You can achieve more success and find yourself more motivated than ever before.


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