Simple Tips to Make your Life Healthier

Feng shui your life by getting organized and following these simple tips from Total Beauty. From the way you're eating dinner to the temperature of your house, making small changes will effect the way you're behaving and lead you to a less stressful and far healthier life.

healthy fridge

Eat smaller portions at the dinner table. You may already know that the size of your plate affects the amount of food you eat. But what about when you sit down for family-style meal? It's easy to get over-eager with extra helpings when you're surrounded by plates heaped with comfort food.

A team of experts at Cornell University say the solution is loading your plate in the kitchen before you sit at the table. The researchers found that people eat at least 20 percent fewer calories when they serve themselves in the kitchen and eat their meals elsewhere -- they simply refilled their plates less often. To rephrase a popular saying: out of sight, out of mouth.

Reach for healthier snacks in the kitchen. When you open your fridge or pantry door, temptations abound. It's one thing to resist throwing chocolate-covered pretzels in your cart at Trader Joe's and another thing to dig around the crisper for carrot sticks when you've got a slice of cake staring at you from the top shelf.  Put good-for-you snacks -- veggies, fruits, fat-free yogurt, etc. -- in transparent containers on the top, or eye-level, shelf. Research indicates that you're much more likely to eat healthy foods when they're highly visible and easy to grab. Keep unhealthy foods on the bottom shelf in opaque containers -- except for when you eat them. Experts found that people generally eat less of bad foods when they're in transparent containers, probably because it makes them more aware of the amount they're consuming. Oh -- and always keep a bowl of fruit near your food stash. Word is that being within sniffing distance of fruit makes people more likely to choose it over junk food.

>> Need some healthy snacks? There 52 snacks will help to flatten your tummy!

Fridge full of healthy products
(Photo: Forrent)

Whittle your waist and sleep better in the bedroom. You've probably sussed out that too much light makes it harder to sleep soundly. Did you know that light exposure at night increases your risk of obesity, too? Researchers came to this conclusion when researching links between nighttime light and breast cancer. Basically, light exposure in the wee hours kicks off an awful chain reaction in the body. First it interferes with your sleep patterns, aka circadian rhythms, which affects metabolism. The tweak in your metabolism increases your likelihood of obesity, which increases your likelihood of certain diseases -- breast cancer, depression, mood disorders and reproductive problems, among others. How to deal? Position your bed on the side of the room farthest from the window and invest in thick curtains to block light sources. While you're at it, do away with as many light-emitting electronic devices as possible in the bedroom. Blue light -- the kind emitted from your computer, TV and digital alarm clock -- is known to disrupt sleep patterns.

Feel chiller in the living room. You want the place where you hang with friends and binge-watch "The Walking Dead" to feel relaxing. Good news: With two easy tweaks to your space, you can feel more tranquil (while you worry about the possibility of a zombie apocalypse). First, get rid of any overhead lighting fixtures, moving light sources to the perimeter of the room. Researchers found that placing warm, full-spectrum lighting around the perimeter of a space makes people feel relaxed. Also, pull your couch or armchair closer to the window. A study from the University of Hertfordshire suggests that the colors green and blue -- essentially, colors found in nature -- encourage dopamine production in the brain and reduce stress, respectively. That's a lot cheaper than buying a comfy new couch.

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