Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mindful Eating? Another Reason NOT to Eat at the Computer


I am so guilty.  Though we already know working with a bowl of candy next to you is a good way to add a few inches to your waist without remembering the culprit, I thought I was fooling the system.  The meals I eat at work are portioned out perfectly ahead of time, so why does it matter if I multi-task lunch and plowing through my to-do list?

Oldham-Cooper and colleagues ad the University of Bristol have brought my logic to a screeching halt.   Apparently mindlessly eating of controlled portions can still sabotage your goals.  In this study, participants were given a standard portion of food to eat at lunch, but one group of participants ate the food and played solitaire, while the other group ate the meal in a quiet room without distractions.

A few hours after the meals, volunteers were asked to both recall the contents of their lunch meal do a "taste test" of cookies.  Those who ate without distractions were able to 1) remember what they ate during the standard lunch meal; and 2) chose to eat fewer cookies during the taste test, as compared to the volunteers who played computer games during lunch.  Apparently it really is better to pay attention to the meal while you're eating it!

Ironically, I'm eating cottage cheese and berries even as I  type now--type a sentence--take a bite--type a sentence.  What can someone do if they're having trouble kicking this habit?

1.  Start by eating the big meals mindfully-- you want to be able to get your body's messages after taking in a substantial amount of energy.  If you typically eat all of your meals in front of the computer, TV, or some other distraction, start with one mindful meal each day and work up from there.

2.  Choose lower calorie fruits and vegetable for your multi-tasking snack.  Eating plain vegetables at the computer or in front of the TV is a great way to turn your "bad" habit into a healthful choice.  If you don't like the experience of eating plain veggies, don't worry--you'll forget the whole thing within a few hours ;-)

14 comments:

WellnessProposals said...
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Black Walnut Hull said...

MindFul Eating and good ideas regarding eating at computers and online order placement..thank you for sharing this post..

nursingstikes said...
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Harris said...

Nice stuff! Thanks for sharing this post recently. I'm looking forward to reading more.

Herbal Product said...

I have a sitting job that takes up most of my time when I am awake. I usually have a bottle of water placed next to screen but if I feel hungry there's always a pack of chips or biscuits lying in my drawer. I know it wouldn't be healthy for me to munch on that pack but still I do. Now that I came across your post and the tips mentioned in there, I will certainly try to constrain myself and look upto your post for inspiration.

Dr Clark said...

Multi-task lunch can effect the weight of the body and can effect the calorie level!!!

HCG said...
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Themacaronqueen said...

I'm am so guilty in eating in front of the computer. I just try to make sure that its a small portion so I don't keep going until my butt doesn't fit the chair anymore.

Houston Home Security said...

I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not good. I also found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my friend and he enjoyed it as well!

massagenightmare said...
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colon cleanse said...

thanks for the tips.

Jean Gutierrez, PhD, RD said...

Thanks everyone for reading. This post seemed to be very popular, so maybe I should feature a quick article review at least once a month!

Marcus Dixon said...
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Albert einstien said...
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