Want to Lose Weight? Eat Here

Pop quiz: It's Friday night and you're trying to decide where to take the family for a healthy dinner on the town. Should you pick a) a vegetarian restaurant, b) a Japanese restaurant, or c) a farm-to-table restaurant? The answer is actually d): none of the above. For the healthiest meal, eat in.
Recent research suggests that you make better food choices in the comfort of your own home.

Round and Round We Go
Scientists asked 160 women to log their emotional states and eating habits over a 10-day period, and found that women tend to eat healthier foods when they're happy and at home. And it sets up a brilliant chain reaction: Eating a healthy meal triggers even more positive emotions, which makes you choose healthier foods at the next meal, creating a cycle of positive reinforcement. And this cycle is more pronounced at home. Why? Scientists suspect it's because home is where you feel most content, and there's more comfort and happiness associated with a home-cooked meal. That happiness triggers healthier eating.

A Happy Home
This supports the belief that healthy eating habits are based on more than just knowing what you're supposed to eat. Your emotions play an important part too. To create your own "healthy eating cycle," researchers suggest making your eating area as appealing and comfortable as possible. Play relaxing music, set a pretty table, light a few candles, and you'll boost your mood -- which will help whittle your waistline. Talk about happy endings!

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