Do you love watching TV while eating? If so, it’s time to make this habit sign off! According to numerous studies, having your meals in front of the boob tube can damage your waistline and your overall health.
Being distracted by your favorite TV shows or interesting infomercials can keep you from mindful eating — having a meal and focusing solely on it. Being a mindful eater offers tons of perks, and you can enjoy none of it if your attention is placed not on the plate in front of you, but somewhere else.
According to over 20 studies conducted from 1997 to 2011, any form of distraction while eating could increase the amount of food consumed by 10 percent, on average. Even more disturbing is this: it could increase the amount of food eaten by over 25 percent later during the day!
On the other hand, the same studies revealed that participants who practiced mindful eating reduced the total amount of food consumed after a meal by 10 percent. Experts who conducted the study suggested that being mindful of what’s eaten could be integrated into a healthy weight loss regiment in place of a more intensive solution.
If you want to improve your figure and wellbeing, refrain from switching on the television during meals. Stay in the dining area, and make sure that there is no TV installed in it! Do so and you will enjoy these benefits:
You Will Appreciate Food More
When watching TV, your attention is what’s on the screen and not on what’s in your mouth. Mindful eating lets you focus on things that matter the most during mealtimes — the smell of food, its color, texture, etc. To make everything more interesting, try figuring out the different ingredients used and challenge yourself to name every single one of them by the end of your meal. In short, being a mindful eater lets you appreciate every bite. Quality over quantity!
You Will be More Attuned to Internal Cues
If you are used to eating in front of the TV, chances are you will grab something in the fridge each time there’s something interesting being aired — even when you’re not really hungry! Similarly, you may never stop eating until the TV show you’re watching is over — even if your body is trying to tell you that you’re already full! Associating TV watching with mealtimes can certainly keep you from being receptive to internal reminders of hunger and satiety.
You Will Consume Less Food
Because mindful eating allows you to listen to internal cues, you will be able to considerably reduce the amount of food you eat every mealtime. That’s because you will realize that you are no longer hungry at the exact moment that your stomach tells your brain that it’s already full. Due to this, you can avoid eating more food than necessary and save yourself from paying pay the price later on, usually in the form of indigestion and in time a larger waistline!
You Will Consume Less Food Later in the Day
As mentioned earlier, studies have shown that being distracted while you’re eating can significantly increase the total amount of food you eat later in the day. Focusing on what you are eating instead of gluing your eyes on the TV lets you be aware of how much food you are eating. Because of this, you can get a clearer idea on how much food you should consume at a later meal based on the amount of food you have consumed during the previous meal.
You Will be Able to Control Your Weight
There are many different factors for weight gain, and one of them is eating more food than necessary. Overeating floods your body with calories that you may fail to burn, most especially if you are leading a sedentary lifestyle. When you habitually have your meals with the TV on, it’s easy to overeat because of the failure to appreciate food, identify the amount of food eaten, and recognize the internal cue that you are already full.