We all do it, we multitask at every given opportunity and we take pride in it. We email while talking, text while walking, read while eating or chat on the phone while cooking. Mealtime is like “free-time” that is best used to finish off little chores or to catch up on a favourite TV series.
According to an American study, over 66 per cent of people watch television during dinner. While 25 per cent of breakfasts are eaten while driving the car, 66 per cent of lunches are consumed at work desks! If the statistics are anything to go by, multitasking surely runs deep within us. But the mad rush to do more could actually be doing you more harm than good.
Eating disorders, weight gain, nutrition deficiencies could be the price you pay for not paying attention to your food. Here’s the science behind it:
Reduced taste perception
A recent study by Psychological Science suggests that being involved in mentally intensive tasks while eating could dampen your perception of taste. That means you need stronger flavours in your food to be able to notice the taste. Needless to say, your curries then ought to be spicier, your snacks saltier and desserts sweeter! By continually feeding your system with an overdose of the 3S’s, you put yourself at risk of early diabetes, blood pressure or palpitation.
Distracted or hurried eating could cause you to overindulge, says a report published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The feeling of satiety is signalled to the brain by a number of feedback mechanisms. However, these signals could be missed if you’re too engrossed in watching TV or responding to emails. End result? You go on binging till your taste buds have had enough.
Also, focusing on two different tasks at once forces your brain to process information from two different channels at once. As a consequence, the finer details of the food you just ate fail to register in your memory bank. This leads to hunger cravings in a shorter span of time than normal.
It has been proven that people who tend to recall how much they ate in their last meal tend to consume less in their next. However, if you don’t remember the details of your last meal, how would you know that you need to be mindful in your next? Distracted eating not only makes us consume 10% more calories, but also causes a 25% increase in food intake later in the day.
And yes, all the excitement around you is bound to make you forget one simple fact – that you need to chew your food well. As all tweens know, chewing your food well will break it down completely 1and reduce your calorie intake by 12 per cent. Otherwise, you’ll end up messing up your digestive system and suffer increased fat deposition.
Always find yourself picking richer, creamier dishes that don’t weigh much in terms of nutritional value? It’s probably because you gulp down your meals mechanically without paying attention to their quality or quantity. Add to this, poor digestion and inability of the body to extract nutrients, that result from distracted eating, and you got yourself the perfect recipe for malnutrition.
To bridge this increasing gap you can resort to nutritional supplements for adults like HiOwna from Himalaya. Such herbal supplements are safe and come loaded with micro and macro nutrients that promote overall health and well-being.
So what’s it going to be? Good health or tight deadlines? A committed relationship with your meal or an absent-minded one? Before you make your choice, remember that you don’t just become what you eat, but also how you eat.