Sunday, May 12, 2013

Week #19 - Eating Without Distraction

I've had this window open on my laptop all weekend waiting to write up my thoughts on our latest routine. But apparently...I've been distracted. Ha!

I am terrible about eating while distracted. Many of my meals and snacks are taken while in front of the TV or a computer. As I've been taking some time to think about our routine, I've been thinking about how to change this and whether or not this is really a problem.

One of the big reasons that distracted eating might be something to avoid is because it results in overeating. To some extent, this isn't a problem for me in particular. Many of my meals in front of the computer take place at work. There, I am eating a portion of food that I have pre-measured and I know the PointsPlus value of. There is no accidental overeating. In this sense, there is no problem to be solved.

One could argue that by eating while distracted, it's hard to evaluate hunger signals. This could certainly be taking place. If I'm working on spreadsheets while eating my soup, am I paying attention to whether or not I could stop with some left over? So there certainly is a potential upside in making sure I'm focused on my meal: it could result in consuming fewer calories.

Probably the biggest upside I see to being mindful of my lunch is satisfaction. Maybe you have noticed that if you aren't paying attention to what you eat, it's almost as if it didn't count. You don't feel as if you really ate it. Your mental satisfaction hasn't kicked in.

As we work our way through this month, that's what I'm going to be thinking about, particularly when I look at my routines concerning meals and snacks at work. This is going to be a busy month of quarterly forecasting, so I will be more challenged than usual to take some free time out of my day, but in the end, it's not about perfection. It's about evaluating your routines and seeing if they can be improved. And if they can, about how you can slowly evolve into something that has a healthier end result.

Good luck!


Crabby McSlacker said...

It's great that you don't have a problem of over eating while distracted, but it still sounds like an interesting experiment to be more present while eating. Be curious to see how it goes!

Outsmart the Fat! said...

Well, I don't know if I'd go so far to say I never overeat while distracted, but not while I'm at work.

I'm sure there are times on weekends, vacations, etc. where I haven't wrapped up my meals ahead of time. THAT is where I probably do some mindless eating for sure!

The Girl in Yoga Pants said...

I've been trying to eat mindfully for the last few months, as well. I read that it's supposed to aid digestion. My problem with mindful eating is that I tend to want to rush through the meal so I can move on to something else. That pretty much defeats the purpose! If I eat at my computer, I notice that I chew slower, because my mind is engaged in something more interesting, and I take longer between bites. In that way, I'm actually more aware of when I become full. Strange, huh? Thanks for stopping by my blog!