Believe it or not, your house might be working against your efforts to lose weight! Certain furniture arrangements or common household items may be discouraging you from being active, or worse yet, actively encourage sloth! If you plan on losing weight this spring and summer, you might want to clean out your living space and make sure it’s conducive to your weight loss goals.

Your plates and bowls might be too big. Instinctively, we fill our plates when we prepare meals and visually decide on an appropriate serving. If you have incredibly deep bowls or dinner plates twelve full inches in diameter, you’re probably regularly doubling or tripling recommended serving sizes. Go for smaller bowls, plates, and cups to encourage more prudent eating habits.

All your furniture encourages sitting. If every piece of furniture is angled towards a TV, your house is designed to encourage sloth — enter the home, sit down. This isn’t necessarily “bad,” but it does reduce your inclination to move. Rearrange your furniture so that you can exercise while you watch TV or stand while you’re working on your computer. These little opportunities add up over time.

Your exercise equipment is hard to get to. It’s not uncommon for exercise equipment like dumbbells, stationary bikes, and weight-lifting contraptions become nothing but expensive clothing hangers in time. If you want to make sure your surroundings encourage activity, fitness, and weight loss, make sure all your equipment is easily accessible and somewhere you see it all the time. If your bike is hidden in the back of your garage under mountains of miscellany, you’ll always find reason not to ride it. But, if you remove most of the impediments to exercising, you’ll find yourself doing it more often.  

Your food is visible and unhealthy. Most people keep their produce in the refrigerator and their junk foods in the cabinets, often overflowing onto counters and kitchen tables. Human brains put the vast majority of its sensory trust in our vision, so if all you see all day is chips and candy, your brain is going to internalize it and crave that. Luckily, this switch is super easy. Keep your fruits and veggies on the counters and visible, and reduce your junk food store to fit in a cabinet. That way, when you feel snacky, the first items in site are healthful and low-calorie.

You don’t get enough sun. For reasons both physiological and psychological, sunshine makes you want to get out and be active! If you spend most of your time in dark and cool spaces, your body takes that as a cue to stay still and conserve heat — that is, wrap up in a blanket and fall asleep to Law and Order. To encourage your body to be more active, set the thermostat in your house a little higher and make sure you let in plenty of sunlight.

These little tips cost next to nothing but could alter your lifestyle enough to ensure that you’re always looking for ways to be active and encourage yourself to be the best you possible.