Newton’s Laws of Motion tell us that objects at rest will stay at rest. I am sure that we can use all sorts of fancy formulas to illustrate this law – but the most obvious illustration to me is my own behavior. The longer I sit on the sofa, the more effort it takes me to get up off the sofa. Knowing this about myself, I have developed a winning strategy for healthier eating, based upon my own laziness. And now, a new study comes out of Saint Bonaventure University in New York suggesting that laziness could be tapped as a tool for healthier eating. I say – right on!
“There are the little things that we can do to just make our diets healthier, and one of them is the simple idea to just put the healthy foods closer to you and you’ll find you can use your laziness to your advantage,” Gregory Privitera told Reuters Health. Privitera, a psychology researcher at Saint Bonaventure University in Bonaventure, New York, led the study.
Privitera said he and his coauthor Faris Zuraikat wanted to know whether the type of foods used in such a study made a difference, so they did a similar experiment with healthier foods. “The short answer is no – we can put healthy foods in and move them closer to a participant and they’ll eat more of that,” Privitera said.
The takeaway from these studies illustrate what I have long held to be true in my own home. If I have candy, and ice cream and desserts handy, I will grab those items. If, however, I would need to get into my car and drive up to the local market to get candy, I will never do it. I’m just too lazy.
- The easiest way for me to control my diet in the long run is to never go to the grocery store on an empty stomach. Its a lot easier for me to stock up on healthy food like fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc when I am currently not craving something sweet.
- I either purchase already cut up fruits and veges, or cut them up and put them in containers in the refrigerator right when I get home from the store. That way, when the hunger cravings hit, I reach for what’s most convenient.
- If there is occasion where I am “expected” to have snacks around (such as Halloween), I purchase items I am not tempted by. For instance, my absolute favorites are Mounds or Reeses. I have NEVER purchased a bag of either for the trick or treaters. They get Jolly Ranchers or some other type of candy that I am not fond of.
- If we have guests and I make dessert, or if my daughter wants to make cookies, I pack up everything leftover the next morning and send it with my husband to the office. He sets it next to the coffee machines, and the offending items are gone!
- I am quite sure my kids think that I am the meanest mom on earth, but I do not purchase any soft drinks to store in our refrigerator. Again, if we have to go out to the service station to get it, we won’t do it, because we are too lazy.
- Society dictates that a “good mom” has snacks around the house, bakes pies and teaches her daughter how to bake cakes and cookies. I just don’t buy into it. My kids may end up on the counselor’s sofa for some other reason, but it I don’t think that “my mom never baked cookies for us” is going to live up to intense examination.
Quite simply, I find that when I am up late at night, roaming the house for food I am simply too lazy to get in the car and run out to buy something I shouldn’t eat. I will either eat a handful of nuts, or decide I am just not that hungry after all. I didn’t really need a study to prove to myself that if it’s not in the house, I am less likely to eat it! But, it was nice to find out that my laziness was to my advantage according to the study!