Weight Loss Hack Backed by New Study
There are a number of hacks - or tricks, if you will - for promoting behavior that leads to weight loss. By taking a look inside the homes of obese and non-obese study participants, researchers find substance to this one weight loss hack.
It’s a word play on the old “out of sight, out of mind” adage—“out of sight, out of stomach” that encourages dieters to be mindful toward avoiding food temptations by controlling where and what you eat.
For example, if you find you cannot go into the kitchen for a drink of water without stopping to “just take a peek” inside the fridge, then make it a habit to keep an iced pitcher of water with lemon slices outside of the kitchen, which is definitely better for your living space décor than padlocking the fridge.
And when it comes to your living space and weight loss, researchers are looking for connections. According to a recently published study in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers found that keeping food visibly available around the house is a predictor of whether or not its occupants tend to be obese.
In the study, 50 obese and 50 non-obese participants between the ages of 20 and 78 were selected for a two-hour home visit comparison of their living spaces. What the researchers made note of extended beyond interviews about food consumption and psychological questionnaires, to observing the layout and storage of food throughout the homes. In particular, the distance between areas where the most time is spent and location of food, and how many physical barriers such as doors and stairs separated the two areas. A second visit was made two weeks later to record food purchases and how much activity the participants had engaged in since the previous visit.
What the researchers found was that:
• Obese home dwellers kept more food visible throughout the house and generally ate less-healthy foods.
• Both obese and non-obese home dwellers spent about the same amount of money on food and reported eating similar amounts of total calories.
• Non-obese participants spent less on fast food than did obese home dwellers.
“The amount of food in the homes was similar, but in the homes of obese individuals, food was distributed in more locations outside the kitchen,” said Charles Emery, professor of psychology at Ohio State and lead author of the study. “That speaks to the environment being arranged in a way that may make it harder to avoid eating food.”
In addition, the researchers also found that the obese participants reported significantly lower self-esteem related to their body weight than did non-obese people, and also reported more symptoms of depression.
“…self-esteem is important because when adults don’t feel good about themselves, there may be less incentive for implementing behavioral changes in the home environment,” stated Dr. Emery.
However, he also points out that their findings of obesity predictors should not be seen as causes of weight problems as the study does not identify, “…whether that environment contributed to obesity or obesity led to the environment, we don’t know,” says Dr. Emery.
Despite a lack of evidence linking cause with effect, the importance of this study is that it is looking inside the home environment for the first time where Dr. Emery points out is an important place to focus on because that is where the majority of our time is spent and thus where changes need to be made for controlling obesity.
“For interventions, we should be thinking about the home as a place to start helping people establish what we know to be healthier habits and behaviors,” says Dr. Emery.
For more about dieting hacks that you can use in the home for weight loss, here are some recommended bulletproof diet hacks you can try today for weight loss.
Ohio State University Press Release― “Keeping food visible throughout the house is linked to obesity”
“Home environment and psychosocial predictors of obesity status among community-residing men and women” International Journal of Obesity; Article preview 28 April 2015; DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2015.70; C.F. Emery et al.