Mealtime Distractions May Cause Overeating

Mealtime Distractions May Cause Overeating

Avoid Distractions While Eating

Are you always multitasking? Watch out because too much of it could be causing you to overeat. If you’re trying to reach your ideal weight, a good trick is to just slow down and enjoy your meal.

A study suggests that if you just focus and enjoy your food, appreciate its good smell and taste, it might help you avoid snacking or binge eating later on.

Researchers have reason to believe why watching television is not a good thing to do while eating. The problem per se is not the TV nor the couch, it’s your not giving the appropriate attention to your food. This tends to cause you to feel less full and wanting to eat more.

Most of us think that the problem is being busy watching TV takes away the time to exercise. But this study under the leadership of Eric Robinson from the University of Liverpool, England, says that the TV simply distracts people when eating which eventually affects their weight.

Do You Remember Your Last Meal?

When you are consciously aware of the food you’ve been eating throughout the day, it could help you to take control of your memory and your diet.

This study is not talking about counting calories. The point is to make people eat their food, savor it and chew it slowly instead of gulping it down quickly.

Memory has a potential influence on food intake. Based on studies of people with amnesia or serious memory problem, a person who cannot remember something they did after a short time would eat lunch served to him even if he just ate his meal and actually feels full.

The research article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition took into account 24 studies which investigated the effect of memory and focus on food intake involving different groups of college students. One study investigated the effect of watching and not watching television on food intake. Another study investigated the effect of eating alone versus watching TV or listening to the radio on food intake.

Research Study takeaways

Not paying attention to what you’re eating makes you eat more.
When you pay attention to your food, your tendency is to eat less at a later time.
Even if a person is dieting, his tendency is to eat more if he is distracted while eating.

Researchers have long believed that not paying attention to your food while eating makes you eat more. With the recent studies, a new observation regarding distracted eating that researchers have never thought of before is it also affects what you will eat later on.

The problem for “busy” families is slowing down the act of eating meals. It’s not a surprise that most people can actually finish their meals in 5 minutes.

A really good suggestion is to cook your meal, set the table and enjoy eating your food. Do not turn on the TV.

Some people also eat while working on the computer. Even so, focus on your food and slowly chew it.

Remember, it’s not just about eating your food; it’s about experiencing your meal.

Photo credits: By Melissa Guitierrez via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Categories: Diet