How to set up “smart” spaces for fueling

You probably know what you eat has an effect on your weight, performance, and health. But did you know what you see influences your food choices as well? People eat twice as much food when it’s easy to see and simple to get to.

Military life sometimes limits your ability to change or choose what’s in your living or work spaces—or even how you use them. Still, do what you can to set up your spaces to make the performance-boosting choice, the easy choice.

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How to set up smart spaces for fueling.

Kitchen

  • Keep treats and sweets in hard-to-reach places.
  • Place nutrient-rich fruits and veggies front and center.
  • Add fruit slices or herbs for a flavor boost to a pitcher of water, and keep it on hand for easy refills.
  • Set up a “snack zone” with nutritious, easy-to-grab snacks.
  • Store healthier options in clear containers.

Mealtime

  • Limit distractions (TV, phones).
  • Eat food on a plate (vs. out of containers or bags).
  • Use smaller plates or bowls.
  • Sit at the table when you eat.

Desk

  • Keep a water bottle on hand to stay hydrated, and take breaks to refill it.
  • Try to avoid eating at your desk when you can.
  • Clear the clutter! A clean desk can encourage you to choose better snacks.
  • Store nutritious snacks in your drawer to satisfy hunger and avoid tempting junk food.

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References

Vohs, K. D., Redden, J. P., & Rahinel, R. (2013). Physical order produces healthy choices, generosity, and conventionality, whereas disorder produces creativity. Psychological Science, 24(9), 1860–1867. doi:10.1177/0956797613480186