Chances are if you have a hectic lifestyle, you live in a cluttered home. A full-time job, date nights, running the kids here and there, while trying to stay on top of all your other responsibilities can leave little time for anything else, let alone tidying up your humble abode.
That said, research has found that if you are trying to lose weight, a cluttered home could actually be one of the reasons holding you back from shedding that excess, unwanted fat.
In fact, a 2017 study conducted by researchers from Syracuse University and Cornell University, found that cluttered and chaotic environments, such as messy kitchens, can influence snacking behavior. The participants in the study who were placed in a chaotic kitchen condition and asked to write about a time they felt out of control, ate more cookies (103 kcal) compared to the participants who were in the non-chaotic kitchen and were asked to write about a time they felt in control (38 kcal).
Other studies, including one published back in 2013, have also found that people in organized rooms tend to choose healthier snacks compared to those in cluttered environments. Such research indicates that tidying up, improving organization and planning ahead, may be as important to getting the most out of your weight loss efforts as committing to dieting and exercise.
Why? Think about it, when you’re in a cluttered and hectic environment, how do you typically feel? Frustrated? Irritated? Annoyed? Whatever your feelings, they can all be summed up into one: Stress.
What happens when you’re stressed? When you’re stressed, your cortisol (“the stress hormone”) levels rise. Increased levels of stress can cause higher insulin levels, which means that your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods. These comfort foods taste great, of course, but they’re also high in calories, which leads to you packing on the pounds.
This is why when you’re in a cluttered environment that’s causing you stress, your more likely to reach for a bag of chips or a box of cookies to snack on than you are for an apple or some carrot sticks.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a new strategy to help you battle the bulge, perhaps consider tidying up and organizing your kitchen and the other rooms of your home. It might turn out that creating a less stressful home environment can help you cope and stay committed to the other lifestyle changes you’re making to lose weight and reach your goals.