Could clutter really make us overweight? Multiple studies have found a link between clutter and poor eating choices.
Disorganized and messy environments led participants in one study to eat more snacks, eating twice as many cookies than participants in an organized kitchen environment yet one’s mindset in that environment can either trigger or buffer against that vulnerability. Other research has shown that people with hoarding severity were associated with increase body mass index (BMI) and that those with extremely clutter homes are 77% more likely to be overweight. Additionally, a tidy space in one analysis was associated with healthier food choices.
An Indiana University study that examined the relationship between physical activity and a range of variables involving urban residents’ homes and neighborhoods found that the inside of study subjects’ homes had more to do with higher physical activity levels than the other environment elements considered.
Now, not everyone who has clutter is overweight. Yet, most people who are overweight seem to have clutter. The connection between clutter and weight gain is that body fat and clutter both act as a protective layer to help people to feel less emotionally vulnerable. Conversely, the stagnant energy that accumulates around both causes a feeling of being stuck that can be very frustrating and restrictive
Clutter and weight gain are both forms of self-protection. There can be other physiological factors involved in weight gain, evidently, but most people find the process of letting go of their clutter also allows them to let go of their excess weight since there are some common causes for both such as a consumer culture, recreational shopping (eating), perception of a too busy schedule, chronic disorganization, grief, control issues, or other mental health issues (depression, anxiety). Addressing any one of these root causes can have a ripple effect and, if steps are also taken to stop compulsive buying so that clutter doesn’t accumulate again, then the weight loss can be permanent.
Still, for many, it may be much easier to focus on putting their home on a “diet” instead of dieting to reduce extra body weight. Tackling our physical clutter will eventually affect the kitchen. When the kitchen is decluttered and starts to be used in the way it was intended to be used, we start eating more sensibly. And when we start looking after our environment more, we naturally feel more inclined to look after our health too. Yet, space clearing takes time. It shakes up whatever was the default schedule.
If you are overweight and reading this, don’t be distressed …be inspired. If there really is a correlation between stuckness in your home and in your body, then this means that great progress can be made by decluttering (purging) your home of everything you no longer need, use or love.