Q: I have heard a lot of people say that it is bad to eat in front of the T.V. Is this really true? Does it really matter how or where we eat?
A: by Victor Sierpina, MD, ABFM, ABIHM.
From my years working as an emergency room doctor, I learned the bad habits of eating too fast. The problem with eating fast is that we have overshot the amount we need to eat before the signals of satisfaction and fullness reach our brain. Do this often enough, and we surely gain weight. Eating on the run, while driving, while reading, watching TV, or working on the computer are all other ways we get distracted from being mindful of our stomach’s feedback.
We eat for many reasons and being mindful of our stomach’s signals is an important part of improving our awareness of why. Most of us don’t notice our stomach’s signals except if it is growling in hunger, feels over distended from eating too much (like after Thanksgiving dinner!), or if we are sick with nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. Ignoring these signals or misinterpreting them can lead to overeating, eating too fast, or eating out of habit, rather than when we are truly hungry.
5 tips for Mindful Eating:
1)Experience the full spectrum of taste, colors, aromas, and textures in your food.
2)Eat and chew slowly.
3)Prepare your meals lovingly from basic ingredients, when possible.
4)Avoid distractions while eating.
5)Listen to the signals of your stomach. Stop before you feel slightly full.