Photo: Ross Chandler/istockphoto

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Habit #5: Having This on Your Kitchen Counters

Minimal clutter and only healthy options in sight. Women who hung out in a messy kitchen ate twice as many cookies as those who spent time the same kitchen when it was less of a disaster, found a study in Environment and Behavior, possibly because the disorganized environment made them feel stressed or out of control. In another study, in Health Education and Behavior, researchers took photos of the kitchens in more than 200 houses then weighed the women living in them. They found that women in homes with boxes of cereal (a notorious added-sugar bomb) on the counter weighed about 20 pounds more than those in cereal-free or hidden-cereal homes. Having soft drinks out was linked to weighing 24 to 26 pounds more. Meanwhile, women with fruit bowls on display weighed about 13 pounds less than those with no fruit out. (No surprise that both studies come from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, the same eating-behavior think-tank that told us buying in bulk can make us consume 48 percent more and that limiting ourselves to two items at a time will help us eat less at buffets.)