Does Your Living Situation Whittle or Widen Your Waistline?
by A. Grano
An article recently came out by Judith J. Wurtman, PhD, who made a statement that living alone may actually be detrimental to weight loss efforts, despite the popular notion that single dwellers would have an easier time controlling their diets.
Pitfalls of Solo Eating
The reasons why? The article suggested that people who live alone may be more likely to fall under one of three types: ‘emotional eaters’, who eat due to loneliness;‘boredom eaters’, who nosh quickly through meals then snack throughout the evening because they do not have the drawn-out process of meal preparation and cleanup; or ‘mindless eaters’, who are unaware of the calories they are consuming while eating ready-made foods in front of the TV.
Pitfalls of Group Eating
Conversely, people who are trying to watch their waistlines and live in a larger household may have to contend with the temptation of junk food lying around for those who have faster metabolisms and can eat more calories without weight gain, those who insist on preparing only certain types of foods without consideration of the person watching his or her weight, or those who persuade others to eat something too as part of a mealtime bonding ritual or hobby. Maintaining regular mealtimes is yet another challenge because of how difficult it can be to coordinate different schedules.
Solutions for Every Situation
Living alone or living with others each presents its own challenges, but staying motivated to eat well is achievable regardless. Planning menus and sticking to them is important for anyone, as it eliminates added calories for those mindless snackers, and can help others in the household to understand that healthy meals are important to you. If getting others to cooperate on your meal suggestions is a struggle, try to work together to find a happy medium. Having support from your family, partner, or friends is important and a little communication can go a long way.
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