Science-Based Home Environmental Management Tips to Aid Healthy Lifestyle and Body Weight

It’s a proven scientific fact; our environment influences our behavior. We can use that knowledge to help us behave in ways to support weight control.

We can arrange our personal environments to make healthy lifestyle choices become our habits. An environment created with a healthy lifestyle in mind can change our habits and thus change our weight.

Here is a room-by-room plan for environmental management.

This fridge is arranged to make it easy to make "losing=friendly" food choices!

When you open the door you see a colorful selection of foods that are heavy in nutrients while lighter in calories.


“If you don’t have it, you can’t eat it!”

I’m not saying throw away the high-calorie foods processed with added fat, sugar and salt. If you share a living space with others who have different weight-related goals than you, this wouldn’t be advised. Don’t throw that food away, but do put it where it’s out of sight and harder to access.

If you don’t have what you want and need in the kitchen to help you with your weight-related goals, however, YOU can’t eat it! 

Make it easy to eat eat food you enjoy that supports your healthy lifestyle and weight-related goals. Keep your refrigerator well-stocked so that you can be assured that what you want to eat is there when you want to eat it! Put fruits and vegetables front and center where they are easy to see and reach when you want a snack.

Store the foods you want to eat more often in see-through containers. Foods that you want to limit or avoid, such as leftover potato salad, are easier to forget when stored in an opaque container.

Keep whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat flour, and the like in the front of the pantry shelves. Put chips, crackers, cookies towards the back of the higher shelves.

This method of kitchen management allows you to have what you need and you don’t need to police the space by throwing out the food other household members want.


A carefully positioned dog is one way to keep YOU off the couch!

A carefully positioned dog is one way to keep YOU off the couch!

Comfortable seating begs you to have a seat and “sit a spell.” Removing comfy furniture and replacing it with hard, uncomfortable seating or no seating at all isn’t realistic. Try these suggestions instead:

Put the wall clock right within your line of vision while watching TV!

Put the wall clock right within your line of vision while watching TV!

  • Place a wall clock where you can easily see it can help to remind you how much time you’re spending sitting. Make a goal to get up and move for five minutes after every hour of sitting.
  • Keep hand weights close by and do arm curls while watching TV.
  • Consider getting a treadmill and placing it where you can walk or jog while watching TV.


This is a room for sleeping. Move TVs and computers into family rooms, dens and/or home offices.

This is a room for sleeping. Move TVs and computers into family rooms, dens and/or home offices.

Quality sleep is proven to being essential for a healthy lifestyle. Studies are showing a link between poor sleeping habits and difficulty regulating appetite hormones. When you’re sleep deprived your body may make more of the hunger hormone, ghrelin.

Ghrelin tells you to eat, so more of that hormone may cause you to overeat. There is another hormone that doesn’t work right when you aren’t getting enough sleep. Leptin, is the hormone that says to you, “Okay, stop eating. You’re full!” Sleep deprivation can make you leptin resistant. In other words, you’re not getting the message to stop eating!

Make your bedroom a room for sleeping, not a high-tech room.

TVs, computers, and smart phones all beckon you to stay awake to stay connected. If you can, get them out of your bedroom. For a complete guide to creating the best bedroom for sleeping click here.

Your home is just one environment where you spend much of your time.

Consider how your work environment affects you. If you spend a lot of time in your car, it too is an environment that you can change to support your success.

When you are managing your environments keep your weight-related goals in mind. Use this simple question to be your guide: “Will this help me or hold me back with achieving and sustaining my goal?”

Changing your environment is one easy and highly effective way to change what you weigh!

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.