Studies show that if we eat with distractions, we will end up eating more. TV is just one of those distractions. When you think about it, when we are watching TV we really aren’t aware of anything else. If we are eating, it becomes a rote process. We eat until what is before us is gone. This is dangerous if we have not pre-measured our food or have an additional bowl full of food on the table. Without thinking we will eat what is on our plate and may even spoon up more while we are still watching TV. That TV show acts as a Visual Cue often causing us to eat until the show we are watching is finished. The show becomes the cue for us to stop eating.
My husband and I have succumbed to this bad habit when we eat around the table in the kitchen instead of eating in our dining room. The TV is right in front of the table. After a long day of work, sometimes it is nice to just “zone out” and not think much about anything. But this is actually not so good for our health.
As we have become more conscious of eating healthier and living a healthy lifestyle we have at least taken the steps to pre-measure and serve up our food before it gets to the table. Extra bowls of food are left on the counter. We do eat mindlessly but at least we don’t eat more than we should.
The problem with mindless eating is that we are not actually acknowledging that we are eating. Sounds a little “woo woo”, but according to Marc David, of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, if we do not take the time to look at our food and be aware that we are eating our mind and body don’t know what to do with the food we are consuming. Our metabolism gets messed up. Rather than using what we are eating as fuel, our body is more likely to just store it as fat. Interesting, right? It ends up that by not being mindful when we eat we are most likely causing a double whammy for our body: we end up eating too much and what we eat ends up being sent directly to fat. That is why so many of us have “slow” metabolisms. We aren’t sending the right messages to our brain about what we eat.
Recently all our favorite TV shows were on re-runs. This gave me the opportunity to assess our dinnertime habits. The TV also offers Pandora. Rather than watching rehashed TV the other night, I put on some music. It was really pleasant. I created a station of Karrin Allyson music…wonderful voices with a jazzy flare. Turned out to be great music for dinner. In fact, the entire dinner was totally enjoyable. A lot less stimulation and frenzied noise and there were no commercials! Instead, we got to pick the music we were in the mood to hear. We could talk, enjoy our meal and savor the moment. Interestingly, I lost 2 pounds, according to the scale the next morning. It seems there really is something to acknowledging what you eat when you eat it!
Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!