Do You Read or Watch TV When You Eat? The Problem With Multitasking

Many of us do it. We’re busy, so we work through lunch while we nibble at our desks, we prop up a book or surf the internet while we eat our dinner and we snack in front of the TV. Many of my clients, struggling with overeating and emotional eating tell me they almost never simply eat without also doing something else at the same time.

Here’s the problem. Our brain isn’t capable of paying focused attention to more than one thing at a time. If we are focused on one activity, we’re not able to be fully present and attentive to the other. If I am busy reviewing my to-do list while finishing last night’s leftovers, guess where my brain is going to be focused? Hint—it’s probably not on the food.  One of the biggest culprits behind weight gain, overeating and weight regain is mindless eating—eating that happens on “auto-pilot.”

When we eat mindlessly, we tend to ignore hunger and fullness cues, we aren’t savoring our food so our ability to be really satisfied with what we are eating is diminished. When we eat mindlessly, we really aren’t making a conscious choice about what we put in our mouths. Sometimes we aren’t aware at all of how much we are eating.

I recommend to all my clients that they spend some time experimenting with mindful, focused eating and many of them are amazed at what they discover.

Although he’s not talking about multi-tasking while eating, Mark McGuinness wrote an excellent blog post about the reasons multitasking doesn’t work. It’s a great reminder I can apply in multiple areas of my life. I recommend you check it out.

Do you multi-task? Do you mindfully eat? What do you notice when you eat while doing versus when you focus solely on eating? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Take good care,

Melissa

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