Do Dirty Dishes Make You Overeat?

Posted: February 27, 2016 in Blog, Health
Diry Dishes Cause Overheating?

Like you need to worry about yet another thing that makes you gain weight. But solving this one isn’t too difficult and it delivers benefits beyond helping you to lose weight.

In a study titled “Clutter, Chaos & Overconsumption”, researchers from Cornell University in the U.S, and the University of New South Wales in Australia, found that messy kitchens, including dishes piling up in the sink, could be a cause of overeating.

98 women participated in the experiment. They were split into two groups with one group being asked to wait for a meeting in a quiet, tidy kitchen and the other group were asked to wait in a cluttered kitchen, with newspapers lying about, a phone that was almost constantly ringing and the aforementioned sink full of dirty dishes.

There were similar bowls of cookies, carrots and crackers in both kitchens.

The study found that the women who waited in the messy kitchen ate twice as many cookies as the tidy kitchen group. That translated to an extra 53 calories in just 10 minutes.

One of the study’s authors suggested that being in a chaotic environment leaves us feeling “out of control”, which raises stress levels. We’ve written a number of times about how some people look to food for relief and comfort during times of stress or other emotional turmoil.

The problem gets worse if you’re already a little frazzled – like after a bad day at work. Some of the women in the experiment were subjected to a writing exercise before entering the messy kitchen. They ate 100 more calories than women who were put at ease before entering the messy kitchen.

DeCluttering Delivers More Benefits than Stress Reduction

This study is another in a long line of research that shows the link between stress and overeating. It confirms one way you can reduce the urge to eat and that’s by trying to keep a calm frame of mind.

But the other message is that, by making your surroundings less cluttered and stressful, you will eat even less. But the act of organizing your surroundings and keeping them that way can deliver other benefits too.

1. A Little More Activity

Sometimes you leave the dishes in the sink because, hey, why wash up more than once? Might as well wait until you’re down to the last dish. But simply the act of washing dishes, or organizing other parts of your home on a more frequent basis contributes to the amount of activity you get every day. And that contributes to calories burned and weight lost.

2. Can Help Solve Other Issues

Stress in any form can be the hidden reason behind some of the other issues in your life, like lack of energy or feelings of frustration. When you eliminate at least some of the sources of stress in your life, it could help you enjoy more than just a slimmer waistline.

3. A Sense of Accomplishment

Simply decluttering your home and keeping it more organized can show you that, yes, you can make a change in your life. Encouraged by that accomplishment, you might be more able to conquer other challenges, like eating a healthier diet.

Your life might be full of “hidden” causes of overeating and the extra weight that comes from it. The nutritional consultants at your nearest Herbal One Centre know the pitfalls and how to deal with them. Drop in for a visit today. They’re ready to answer your questions and help you accomplish far more than you thought possible.