Sunday, February 6, 2011

Watching What You Eat, Literally

"Researchers had 22 volunteers eat a meal while playing computer solitaire and 22 others eat the same meal in the same amount of time while undistracted. They told the subjects it was a test of the effect of food on memory, but actually they were testing how full people felt after a meal, how much they ate at a “taste test” 30 minutes later, and how successfully they could recall exactly what they ate. Not only were distracted eaters worse at remembering what they had eaten, but they felt significantly less full just after lunch. And at the taste-test session a half-hour later, they ate about twice as many cookies as those who had lunch without playing games. Dr. Brunstrom, a researcher in behavioral nutrition at the University of Bristol in England, said the problem lay in recalling what one has eaten. “Memory plays an important role in the regulation of food intake,” he said, “and distractions during eating disrupt that.” (Behavior: Distracted Eating Adds More to Waistlines)"

Don't believe this, try it yourself. Grab a bag of pretzels or your favorite snack and put some in a bowl, sit in front of the television and start to snack, see how many times you fill up your bowl before you feel you are hungry. Then do this again but while you are doing nothing but eating. I guarantee you will eat less and feel more full after watching what you ate. Also, try counting the number of bites. This will keep your mind engaged in what you are doing and make you more aware of the amount of food you are putting into your body. By watching what you are putting into your body and mentally acknowledging how much food you are eating, this will help you be healthier and maybe even drop a few pounds.

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