Super-sized meals, king-sized snacks, dollar menus, robot vacuums, television, computers, video games - all of these are components of the "obesogenic" environment that we have created for ourselves. An "obesogenic" environment is an environment that promotes weight gain through its readily available food and labor-saving devices. It lures us to eat more and exert less. Taking in more calories than are burned through physical activity upsets the energy balance needed to maintain a healthy body weight. You do not need to fall prey to these temptations. Here are 3 steps you can take to re-shape your environment toward one that promotes better health.
1. Change your external cues by leaving yourself fitness "reminders". Post a sign on your front door stating "Don't forget to exercise today!". Pack and leave your gym bag in your car to remind you to stop at the fitness center on your way home. Hang up pictures of physically fit individuals or place fitness adds on your vanity mirror or refrigerator for inspiration.
2. Eliminate triggers/cues to overeat and to be less active. Out of sight, out of mind. Close the doors of your entertainment center or put a blanket over the television. Better yet, unplug the TV and hide the remote! Remove junk food from the refrigerator and pantry and replace with single servings of fruit, vegetables, low-fat yogurt or cheese, and nuts for a quick on-the-go snack.
3. Alter your leisure-time pursuits. Instead of meeting a friend for drinks, reserve a court at the gym and play racquetball. Take a walk around the neighborhood or mall instead of watching television after dinner. Put on some blood-pumping music and dance with your family when everyone gets home from school/work instead of surfing the net.
How have you combatted the lure of the "obesogenic" environment? Post your comments below.
Labels: "obesogenic" environment, energy balance, external cues, fitness reminders, inactivity, leisure-time activities, overeating