By Helaine Krasner, RDN, CDN

Have you ever walked passed a candy dish on a co-worker’s desk and grabbed a nibble just because it was there?  Have you ever eaten more than you really wanted just because there was still food on your plate? Have you ever felt the urge to have a snack after watching a food commercial on TV even though you weren’t hungry?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your environment has influenced your food choices.  We are all affected by environmental triggers on a regular basis, and these influences can undermine our best weight management efforts if we’re not careful.

Tips for Staying in Control:

  • Avoid skipping meals and plan for healthy snacks to reduce temptation.
  • Keep a supply of precut fruits and vegetables on hand for snacking and to round out a meal.
  • Limit serving sizes of high calorie, healthy foods (nuts, avocado, dried fruit, etc) by purchasing single serve packages or preparing your own.
  • Practice stress management techniques to help avoid emotional eating.
  • Be aware of your own personal food triggers and have a plan to deal with them.
  • Keep sweets hidden away and not on display. Out of site is out of mind.
  • Have a personal policy for avoiding specific problem foods or situations. (e.g., I don’t eat after 7 pm or I don’t eat fried foods.)
  • Practice saying “no thank you” to food pushers.
  • Choose smaller plates, bowls, and cups to help avoid overeating beyond fullness.
  • Consider spending less time with people whose poor eating habits are affecting yours.
  • Enjoy food more by practicing mindful eating and savoring every bite.

We tend to blame ourselves and a lack of willpower for making undesirable food choices, but it’s important to remember that we’re all affected by our environment. Take control of yours to achieve success in reaching and maintaining your weight loss goals.

Helaine Krasner is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who takes great pride in helping our Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients achieve their health and weight loss goals.