If you thought this was an article focusing on sexual health, you cannot be more wrong. While that is equally important, we’re going down food lane today. The bedroom is where we relax and let our guard down. It’s where cravings begin and comfort eating sets in. If your idea of unwinding at the end of the day involves being sprawled across your bed with a bag of chips lying by your side as you scroll through your Instagram feed, this article is for you. Today, we’re going to talk about the five ways you can create a healthier eating (or non-eating) environment in your bedroom for good health.
1. Make your bedroom an oasis
I do not mean oasis as a figure of speech, but literally—there should always be some drinking water in your room. We need an average of 8 to 10 cups of fluid a day, and water is the best option, being calorie-free. Adequate hydration ensures healthy organs, fresh skin, and aids with bowel movements.
Create a space in your room where you place a pitcher of water and a glass. If you prefer, there are plus points to using water bottles instead. Being contained, they are spill-free if you have butter fingers. They’re also great as a grab-and-go option if you’re always in a rush.
If you dislike the taste of plain water, choose other calorie-free alternatives! Simply throw a teabag or two into your jug; you can even opt for fruit-infused or floral teas for a aromatic drink. Some people prefer refreshing flavours, in which case a few slices of citrus fruits, a sprig of mint or basil, or even sticks of carrot or celery are zesty alternatives.
Setting your oasis up in a beautiful glass jug can even add a pop of colour and vibrancy to your room and serve as décor! It’s all about creating the right mood to encourage you to get into the habit of healthful behaviours. Think about your likes and dislikes, and set your environment up so you would be responsive to it!
2. A bedroom for good health has rules
Ever had a bad habit you wanted to kick? Create rules against certain food habits. Sometimes no means no, and you really need to set strict rule to be rid of it. Write them down and paste these rules up on your wall if you have to! Notice unhealthy dietary behaviours that you engage in once you recline to your bedroom. Do you have snacks hidden under your bed or scattered across your study table? Do you always crave food when the clock strikes midnight? Say no to snacks in your rooms—that means no chips, cookies, crackers, or chocolates. Say no to late night snacks.
Another neat trick is to ask yourself if it’s real hunger, or merely a craving that you feel. If it’s real hunger, you should be willing to eat anything you can get your hands on…even a healthy option (go on to read point 3). Your body also confuses thirst with hunger, so reach for your water jug first, before making decisions about food. If you want to read more about how your mindset can affect your food choices, check out my post about mindful eating here.
3. Have healthy snacks only in a bedroom for good health
This stash is for emergencies only. For if you had a light dinner, woke up with a growling stomach in the middle of the night and can’t go back to bed. For late night exam studying and you’re craving a hearty bowl of instant noodles but know at the back of your mind that a lighter snack is probably all you need.
Some good options would be mixed nuts, home-made popped corn, dried fruit, all bran, oat biscuits, or even fresh fruits. Did you know nuts have been scientifically proven to reduce cholesterol levels, check out my post here! There are many foods that can be healthy, but may add to your weight when consumed in excess. A helpful trick is to paste a portion size recommendation on your jar of snacks, or place a “¼ cup” measuring cup in it as a scoop. This way, you can easily limit yourself to a standard portion each time.
4. Place all supplements at your bedside
While I’m an advocate of obtaining all nutrients from food, there are times where it can be tricky hitting your daily nutrient recommendations through food alone. Even with a varied diet with plenty of protein, fruits, and vegetables, there are two beneficial food components that people tend to miss out on.
The first is omega-3 fatty acids, which you may not get enough of if you don’t have at least two serves of oily fish a week or consume a regular dose of nuts and seeds. The second is calcium, if you don’t consume dairy or a calcium-fortified food product daily. If you find you aren’t eating enough of such foods, they are good supplements to place by your bedside as a reminder for daily consumption. For women trying to conceive, folate is another good one to have every day to prevent spinal bifida in babies. Having all the essential nutrients your body needs within reach is what creates a bedroom for good health!
As for those on regular medications, this is where your pills go too, for they must be consumed consistently and on a timely basis as prescribed. Now, you see this is where having your water jug set up at point 1 comes in handy.
5. Wear your heart on your sleeves, paste your goals on your walls
Think about your diet or health goals, write them down, and paste them up on your walls for you (and the people living with you) to see. They serve two purposes.
Firstly, they become a daily reminder to point you in your path forward as you start each day. Having something that stands out is a more concrete reminder than foggy thoughts in your head. You can make them more meaningful by writing down a time frame by which you want to accomplish them. Secondly, they allow family members (or housemates) to be aware of your intentions. They may be more supportive if they knew it was something you were serious about. Also, having others apart from yourself know your goals holds you accountable to set out and achieve them. There is nothing like commitment that is accountable.
That sums it up! Five quick and easy way to set up your bedroom for good health. Our environment has been shown to influence our eating habits. By creating an ideal environment, not only do you reduce your risks, you also place yourself in a better position to achieve your diet and health goals. Time to give your bedroom a tiny revamp. Afterall, it’s your very own space to optimise for your health!