When trying to lose weight over 40, diet and exercise are important, but did you know that your living space also plays a key role in helping you slim down?
In this post, we’ll discuss the science behind why getting organized and tidying your home can help you reach your weight loss goals.
The Science Behind Cluttered Spaces And Snacking Behavior
If your life is an endless effort to catch up, organize, and declutter, you’re stressed. The body responds to chronic stress with a surge of hormones that increase cravings and hunger throughout the day, especially if you are over 40 years of age.
Researchers from Cornell University found that “stressful and chaotic food environments” influenced people to reach for high-calorie snacks.
In the study of around 100 women, they discovered that participants who were in a more chaotic, messy kitchen consumed more cookies than those in a tidy space. The cluttered environment had no impact on the consumption of crackers or carrots.
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The chaotic environment created a vulnerability to making unhealthy food choices.
Mindset in that environment can either trigger or buffer against that vulnerability.
Another study from the University of Minnesota found that people in orderly rooms chose healthier snacks than those in cluttered environments
Orderly Spaces Foster Healthy Choices
In his book, Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?, organizational consultant Peter Walsh writes that tidying up and planning ahead might be just as important to weight loss over 40 as committing to exercise and a reduced-calorie diet. It fosters healthy choices.
Clutter increases stress hormones, which can contribute to weight gain. If you can’t control a messy environment, your mind doubts your ability to control your eating. A messy home also represents self-defeating habits that can transfer over into eating patterns as well. You give yourself mental permission to overeat and eat mindlessly.
How Decluttering Improves Eating Habits: Final Thoughts
Never underestimate the power of your environment. Diet and exercise are important, but science says your environment also plays a key role in helping you slim down.