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How Your Environment Affects Your Nutrition

January 08, 2024 4 min read

“The more you fill up on healthy food, the less space you have for unhealthy food”.

The How, What, Where Affects Your Nutrition

When it comes to getting your nutrition and fuel under control, the first place you should look is your environment. YES, you can figure out your macros, yes you can carb cycle, and yes you can focus on the timing of your nutrients but a large part of taking charge of your health is your environment. Today were focusing on the places you eat, who you eat with and even when. Building awareness of what drives your habits in your environment can be just as helpful as being aware of how much your eating.

How You Eat

Have you thought about what utensils you eat with? I read somewhere that people that eat with a regular size fork tend to eat MORE, than people that ate with a 20% larger fork. Maybe they felt the smaller bites didn’t fill them up quite as fast?

Another study looked at people who served themselves ice cream in a regular bow.. They ate up to 31% more ice cream then they would have out of a smaller bowl. An obvious answer to this is if you serve yourself more food, you’ll eat more. This brings us to portion control

Over the past few decades, food portions have blown up, literally! Supersize me, buy 3 for $1.00, and so forth. Not only is food coming in larger portions, the nutritional make up of this food is worse. How can you take control? Make looking at the portion size of something a habit. How much is in your bowl of cereal?

What You Eat

Obviously the physical environment you live in is something you can’t always control. In Iowa, I was raised on beef and potatoes. I was also raised in the 80’s where the big push was breakfast cereal, capri sun and bologna. Was it good, heck yes but was it healthy? Probably not. Depending on what the current push from the media is can impact your food choices through marketing. Low-sugar, Low-carb, Keto, Intermittent fasting, juice diets, all of these ideas flying at you through the media can make it overwhelming when choosing WHAT to eat.

Our economy can influence what we eat, along with our income. You can get a meal for 4 people in the McDonalds drive through for less than $20.00 but is fast food healthy? Have you ever priced organic fruits and veggies compared to the “regular” fruits/veggies? PRICEY. Not ever family can afford this. When is the last time you’ve seen a school lunch in your state? I’m willing to bet it looks and tastes a lot different than it did when you were a kid. I remember the HOMEMADE noodles, rolls and such (not necessarily the healthiest but much healthier than the pre-packaged meals they are serving now!).

What you eat can also be affected by food intolerances and allergies, what you were raised on and again the part of the country/world you were raised. Not everyone has equal access to the healthiest choices but this doesn’t mean you can’t search out what is healthiest in your area.

Where You Eat

Where you eat your food can impact your weight immensely. Do you eat on the run? On the couch? At your desk? Or do you take the time to sit around the table, with NO electronics of course and chat with those around. Do you take your time to eat and taste the food or are you programmed to shovel that food. Do you work at home? Working from home has boomed since Covid so you probably have more options during the day but, you also have access to that fridge 24/7. If you do not work from home, do you work in an environment where donuts and sweets are brought in all the time? Or do you work in an office environment that is health aware?

Awareness Is Key

Build your awareness of your eating environment. If you work from home most of the time. What does your pantry look like? Is it full of chips, cookies and crackers? What about the fridge? Here are some tips on how you can create a healthier eating environment:

  • Have healthy foods available at home. Start by keeping unhealthy foods out of the house.
  • Go through your cabinets, counter top, fridge, pantry etc. and get rid of all the unhealthy food.
  • Go grocery shopping and stock your kitchen with healthy foods from each food group.
  • Discuss changes with family members so they are aware and can help support you. (if they want unhealthy food, tell them which cabinet or drawer it will be placed in).
  • Have healthy snacks available on the go.
  • Create a healthy environment at work (no break-room, no eating out, meal prep lunches).
  • Eat out less. Set a goal and stick to it. When you do eat out, eat where there are healthier options.
  • Have healthy beverages in reach. Get yourself a nice water bottle, coffee or tea mug.

What is it that affects your eating environment the most? What step can you take TODAY to start making changes? Grab a copy of my healthiest snacks and my guide to stocking your kitchen with healthy food! Don’t forget, you can head over to my FREE FITNESS ACCOUNTABILITY group on Facebook and continue the conversation while grabbing FREE WORKOUTS, FREE MACRO BALANCED RECIPES and more!

If you’re tired of being tired, lacking the energy to workout, stressed out and sleeping like garbage, join our next VIRTUAL FITNESS CHALLENGE starting January 2nd!! You can get on the early bird list HERE.

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