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8 Mindless Habits to Break if You Want to Lose Weight
By Bonnie Taub-Dix
July 29, 2015 | 11:01 a.m. EDT

We make over 200 food-related choices each day. Some choices are easier than others. What you should eat for breakfast may be a relatively simple decision, especially if you just rotate a few basic choices regularly.

But other decisions are more challenging, like deliberating about whether or not to dip into the candy dish on your coworker's desk. Many of our subconscious food choices can trigger unwanted weight gain or sabotage weight-loss efforts. How exactly did you decide how much popcorn to eat during movie night?
Are you aware of the role your environment
plays in your food selection? Here are eight triggers that may impede weight loss – and how to avoid them before it's too late:

1. You keep food on your kitchen counter.
If your kitchen counter is cluttered with food,
research shows you may weigh 8 to 29 pounds more than someone whose counter is clear, according to the book "Slim by Design" by Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. One of the most dangerous culprits? Visible breakfast cereal! Despite claims of containing whole grains and essential nutrients, people often overeat cereal because of its health halo claims.

Give your kitchen a makeover. Remove
visible food from your countertops and replace it with a bowl of fruit. According to Wansink's
research, people who have a bowl of fruit on
their kitchen counter weigh an average of 7
pounds less than people who don't!

2. You keep snack food in clear containers.

You're more likely to eat the food you can see,
so storing snack food in clear containers is a
recipe for temptation especially if the treats
are at eye-level.

Out of sight, out of mind. Store high-calorie, high-fat and high-sugar snacks in opaque containers and keep them inside the pantry instead of on the counter. The Google office in New York tried this method – and it worked, reducing their caloric intake from candy by 9 percent in just one week, Fast Company reports.

3. You finish what your child doesn't.

Children, up to age 5, are much better than
adults at recognizing hunger and satiety cues, so they eat until they're full and not more. If
you regularly eat your meal and then dive into
others' leftovers, you might gain weight from the little bites and nips that you didn't think would count.

Serve yourself a piece of what your child is eating and keep away from what's on his
or her plate. Save the little one's leftovers for lunch the next day.

4. You have a candy dish on your desk at work.

Whether it's on your desk or the desk of a
coworker, many people are within arm's reach
of candy at work 476 calories of it to be exact, according to Wansink. In fact, Wansink reports that people with a candy dish on their desk weigh 15.4 pounds more than people who don't.

Fill your candy dish on your desk with paperclips instead of sugary treats. If you want to eat something sweet at work, just BYOS (Bring Your Own Snack). Choose one that comes in an individual, portion-controlled size.
5. You're watching an action movie.

Health experts have never endorsed eating in front of the TV because it increases distraction, leading to mindless munchies. But research now shows that what you're watching can influence your eating habits, too. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that people eat more when they're watching action-related TV than if they're turning into a less engrossing program.

During meals, turn off the tube and focus on conversation and the food in front of you. When families grab table time together, kids tend to eat more vegetables and fruits and less fried foods and sugary soft drinks. Set an example when you set the table to help you gain enjoyment and possibly even lose weight.
6. You use oversized dinner plates.

Studies show that the size of your dishes cues your consumption norm. If you use larger plates and bowls, you are more likely to serve yourself and consume more food – about 16 percent more! Research also shows that we eat over 90 percent of the food we serve ourselves, so over-serving can contribute to overeating.

Invest in smaller plates and you may be able to treat yourself to a smaller pants size as well.

7. Sugary drinks are at eye level.

We tend to buy more products that are stored at eye level at the supermarket and to grab items that meet our gaze when we open the

Keep a pitcher of water not sugary drinks at eye level in your fridge. Fill the pitcher with fresh cut fruit to make it even more appealing. All sodas and sugary drinks should stay on the supermarket shelf for good.

8. You eat directly from the package.

Whether it's popcorn, cereal, jerky or even
grapes, eating directly from a food package distorts our sense of how much we're
consuming and leads to portion distortion.

Pre-measure and pre-portion all snack foods and place them in single-serving bags to define and predetermine an amount that will
help keep calories in check.

Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN,  is the award-winning author of Read It Before You
Eat It and owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants, LLC. She is a motivational
speaker, journalist, media spokesperson and corporate consultant whose messages are laced with her culinary passion as a foodie, her credible guidance as an advisor, and her wit and wisdom as a mom.

Follow her on Twitter at @eatsmartbd or visit her website
A True Friend 
Freely Advises,
Justly Assists Readily, 
Adventures Boldly, 
Takes all Patiently,
Defends Courageously
Continues a Friend Unchangeably.

William Penn

very good info
Good post, ice. Lots of good tips there.

For losing weight I recommend giving up the sugar and flour. No one wants to hear that but it works like magic. Quit all sugary foods plus bread, pasta, etc and you will lose weight fast. You can eat all you want of veggies and lots of fruit. Fill up and still lose weight. I said fruit not fruit juice, there is a big difference.

The cereal, candy, and soft drinks you mention all contain added sugar. The more sugar you eat the hungrier you get. Flour turns into sugar shortly after you eat it so those who give up desserts turn to bread, rolls, pizza etc and don't lose much weight. Try it, it works.
Concerning sugar I think moderation is the key

You don't have to deny yourself, just be sensible

Try and stay active

A mile walk a day is great.

I know since I retired recently, its easy to stay on the easy-chair -or just post online!

I have to find ways to stay active.

Refined sugar is toxic especially if you have any one of a multiplicity of diseases: any form of arthritis, crohns disease, diabetes, Schizophrenia, hypoadrenocorticism (the lack of adequate adrenal cortical hormone production or imbalance among these hormones), any disease that affects the adrenal glandd... the list is endless (I am not refering to unrefined naturally occuring sugars, which essential is what the body breaks everything down to to create fuel for our bodies).

Sugar taken every day produces a continuously overacid condition, and more and more minerals are required from deep in the body in the attempt to rectify the imbalance. Finally, in order to protect the blood, so much calcium is taken from the bones and teeth that decay and general weakening begin. Excess sugar eventually affects every organ in the body. Initially, it is stored in the liver in the form of glucose (glycogen). Since the liver's capacity is limited, a daily intake of refined sugar (above the required amount of natural sugar) soon makes the liver expand like a balloon. When the liver is filled to its maximum capacity, the excess glycogen is returned to the blood in the form of fatty acids. These are taken to every part of the body and stored in the most inactive areas: the belly, the buttocks, the breasts and the thighs.

When these comparatively harmless places are completely filled, fatty acids are then distributed among active organs, such as the heart and kidneys. These begin to slow down; finally their tissues degenerate and turn to fat. The whole body is affected by their reduced ability, and abnormal blood pressure is created. The parasympathetic nervous system is affected; and organs governed by it, such as the small brain, become inactive or paralyzed. (Normal brain function is rarely thought of as being as biologic as digestion.) The circulatory and lymphatic systems are invaded, and the quality of the red corpuscles starts to change. An overabundance of white cells occurs, and the creation of tissue becomes slower. Our body's tolerance and immunizing power becomes more limited, so we cannot respond properly to extreme attacks, whether they be cold, heat, mosquitoes or microbes.

Excessive sugar has a strong mal-effect on the functioning of the brain. The key to orderly brain function is glutamic acid, a vital compound found in many vegetables. The B vitamins play a major role in dividing glutamic acid into antagonistic-complementary compounds which produce a "proceed" or "control" response in the brain. B vitamins are also manufactured by symbiotic bacteria which live in our intestines. When refined sugar is taken daily, these bacteria wither and die, and our stock of B vitamins gets very low. Too much sugar makes one sleepy; our ability to calculate and remember is lost.

Moderation with refined sugar is a myth.

Very little refined sugar is ok. More than that and.... well it's just a matter of time.

Keep well.   Smile Heart
Carog, I agree with that. Refined sugar is a curse upon us and hfcs high fructose corn sweetener is the worst of the lot. We get a bit of sugar in fruits and veggies, even a trace in meat but that won't hurt you. I would say stay away from fruit juice which is going to be mostly apple juice with one or two other things added. The only fruit juice I drink is tart cherry and its like a supplement, it helps me sleep and its very good for you. But avoid added sugars if you want to stay healthy and lose weight.
Wow I'm glad I saw this thread what a lot of great tips I hope this old printer of mine still has a little life left in it LOL
Isn't it fascinating how science and medicine are finding out how bad sugar is for people and no one gets outraged about it? There are still vending machines everywhere with not one good choice in them. Open the CVS or Walgreen's circular in the newspaper, any weekend--what's on sale? Candy, cookies, soda, fruit juice, etc....My particular vitamins are rarely on sale and it's cheaper to purchase them over the internets. Seems like you can purchase a weapon, as easily as sugary snacks. Our world just seems so upside down these days. Great posts Ice and Carog.

We have such thoughtful and smart members on so many topics. Whenever, I get a chance to read a thread, I always learn something. Thank you everyone. R.
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present.

Eleanor Roosevelt

 You can observe a lot by just watching. Yogi Berra
The toughie this time of year (IMO) is the social obligations of the season and all obligatory sweets at every get together. At least where I am, in my circle, every holiday get together is basically a sugar fest....cookies, cakes, ice cream, candies, fudge, etc. I have learned to act like I am eating something when I really am not Wink Lost my sweet tooth (except dark chocolate) a few years ago.
interesting. that u lost ur "sweet tooth." i wonder if ur mind and body did that to preserve u from future harm.

very wise. i dont celibrate, but i hope u r having awesome holiday get togethers.

merry christmas, ghost of jack. have fun.
Angel  It is Well with My Soul  Angel

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