Watching TV, doing work, driving, or talking on the phone while eating is multitasking during meals. Experts say we now do 50% of our eating while concentrating on something else, which is a big diet mistake. Mercy medical Center researches say “if you’re not paying attention to what you’re doing you tend to forget almost that your eating and potentially eat more than you would if you were focused strictly on active eating”. Studies have found that distracted eaters cannot recall very much of their meals, even after consuming them only 30 minutes after. They were also less full after eating and ate more during the taste test.
Americans now spend 25 more minutes eating than they used to 30 years ago. American men are 20+ pounds heavier, and women are 30+ pounds heavier than they were 30 years ago as well. The lesson here is you should ultimately begin paying attention to the fact that you are eating as well as what you are eating, and do not treat eating as a secondary activity. In many other studies, researchers found that eliminating distractions while eating led to significant weight loss. Multitasking during meals will work against your diet, whereas taking away distractions will aid your diet and increase your weight loss.
Portioning out meals and thinking about what you’re going to have before hand will help you enjoy and give attention to the meal that you are having. Next researchers say memory plays a key role in the regulation of food intake. So any distractions may cause a disruption to remembering and will leave you feeling less satisfied and wanting more. Many people today are extremely busy and feel they must eat while doing another task in order to get done all the things they need to get done. It is common to eat while you watch TV, drive, sit at the computer, and other various activities. However for health reasons, including weight, it is potentially dangerous to multitask during meals.
Distracted eating can easily lead to overeating and weight gain. Next, if you’re not mentally focusing on what you’re eating your hunger is not actually fully satisfied. When mindless eating occurs the level of satisfaction is never met. Distracted eating leads to shorter intervals between meals and prolonged eating time, which in turn will lead to more food consumption. Studies have shown distracted eaters consume 100% more after their meals and their snacking habits are 20 to 100% greater than those who do not engage in distracted eating at all.
The prevention of distracted eating sounds easy and obvious. However, some people find it extremely hard to turn off the devices and put down the phone. Sometimes compiling a list of things that distract you while you’re eating can help you tremendously by helping you realize that you are multitasking during meals more than you thought. Do what you have to to keep the distractions off or away from you during meal times, this will help your diet so much. Many people find it very helpful to keep a food diary and write in it before, during, and after meals. When keeping a food journal you should note what is eaten, with whom, and where.
When eating, there is a way to eat that will not only provide a great satisfaction during meals but also will help you control your eating behaviors as well. You should designate one table in your home as an eating and drinking table. Only eating and drinking can be done at that location. Next, set the table with plates napkins silverware before eating turn off the television in the computer and keep the phone at a distance on silent away from the table. Additionally, if you are driving and must eat, pullover and park your car. Make sure to make your food the main distraction, concentrating on the way the food tastes, the feeling in your mouth, and embrace every aspect of your meal. This elimination of multitasking during mealtimes will really help you drop extra or unwanted weight.