Television has long been our mealtime companion, yet watching our favorite shows while eating can lead to serious health issues by keeping us from eating thoughtfully and listening to our bodies.
The rising obesity issue is just one indicator that humanity isn’t doing so well when it comes to healthy eating. While we often blame this on global food suppliers- offering addictive meals tailored to hit “the bliss spot” with the help of harmful elements (sugar, salt, fat, etc.)- there are many ways in which we ourselves engage in unhealthy eating habits, and binging on junk food while watching TV is one of them.
We take a closer look at the main reasons why watching TV while eating can harm your overall health, which should urge you to be super mindful about each bite!
We are piling up a plethora of social, physical, and emotional difficulties for ourselves by engaging in poor eating habits while watching TV. Several sociological studies have shown that when you eat while watching TV, you eat more, especially if you’re eating sweet or high-calorie food.
The study published in PLoS One found a strong link between watching TV and habitual eating, regardless of hunger level. This is related to “distracted eating,” which refers to the tendency to overeat when being distracted by something else.
Isn’t it amazing how quickly that whole bag of popcorn disappears before the movie is over? We are so focused on our favorite program that we fail to pay attention to our food and eat too quickly, wreaking havoc on our brains’ ability to digest the information and assess whether or not we ate enough.
Being able to concentrate on one task at a time makes our days more manageable and our work more efficient. To develop good concentration skills, we must first examine how we are causing our focus to wane and then implement tactics to improve it. In terms of our eating habits, this means avoiding distractions and being more self-disciplined.
Lower metabolic rates
Because watching TV is mostly a passive activity linked to poor focus when eating, the process has the potential to drastically reduce the metabolic rates of digesting meals.
In laboratory research, watching television has been found to result in a more alert but less focused brain. More than 3.5 hours of television viewing per day may also consume time that could be spent on other cognitively helpful activities such as board games, reading, and writing. We strongly recommend engaging in brain-friendly activities such as leveraging expert essay writer help on GrabMyEssay to learn how to create one-of-a-kind, error-free essays on any imaginable subject. Instead of unhealthy meals, snack on items containing memory-boosting almonds or macadamia, which promote optimal brain function.
Poor sleep and prolonged sleep deprivation impair focus while simultaneously increasing those stress chemicals to compensate, creating a bit of a vicious loop.
Sleep is essential for the overall quality of life, aiding brain function and emotional well-being, promoting healthy development, and maintaining hormonal balance.
Unhealthy eating habits while watching TV can negatively impact overall sleep quality, mainly because they interfere with the brain’s capacity to “cool down”. As a result, falling asleep takes longer, especially if binge-viewing lasts into the early morning hours.
Sleeping with a full stomach impacts stage three and four sleep, when your body accomplishes most of its restorative work. So, think twice before preparing your sandwich for that late-night show!
The research found that eating thoughtfully, choosing and savoring food away from the temptations of computers and televisions can help us maintain good health.
The fact is that you can eat everything you want, even your favorite high-calorie, fatty foods. However, you must consume them mindfully, focusing solely on the pleasure of eating your meal. This will allow you to get the maximum enjoyment out of the process while also knowing when to stop.
The entire philosophy of mindfulness is to inspire you to live in the present moment. The technique is less concerned with calorie tracking and more with enhancing your awareness of what you are eating. In other words, when consuming a creamy cake, consider what you’re eating and why you’re eating it, and try to feel the joy!
Mindful eating is eating with purpose, without distractions. It is best to separate your favorite tv shows about students and your beloved high-calorie chocolate mousse.
Before you eat, take a time to smell your meal and really savor the fragrances. When you’re done eating your mousse with total awareness, race to your TV with an ear-to-ear grin and turn on your favorite show!
The bottom line
Worries about unhealthy eating are increasingly common. Research shows we consume up to 30% more while engaged in activities such as watching TV. Such disruptions are becoming far more common. Many people don’t even use their dining room at home, preferring to eat in front of the TV or while on their phones.
While you should avoid eating while watching TV, you don’t have to give it up entirely. It won’t hurt to delight in your favorite snack while watching your favorite TV show every now and again.
However, this should be an exception to the rule rather than the norm.
Serve smaller plates, practice mindful eating, and switch off the TV at mealtimes: tiny changes like these may have a big impact on our general well-being.