Eat At Least 1 Distraction-Free Meal Per Day
“Each minute we spend worrying about the future and regretting the past is a minute we miss in our appointment with life – a missed opportunity to engage life and to see that each moment gives us the chance to change for the better, to experience peace and joy.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Savor
“I’m definitely more aware of how much I’m eating and when I’m full. I would recommend trying it, it makes family dinners a tad nicer as well!” -@jedininja
“I’m doing the Eat At Least One Distraction-Free Meal A Day Challenge, and I’m loving it. I feel so much calmer and connected to myself.” -@sara2emily
“Food tastes better! Your other senses aren’t engaged elsewhere, so they can all be involved in the joy of eating! 👌🏻” -@JenniferEmilson
“This built a habit of actually talking to people and focusing on my lunch rather than blank eating.” -sara2emily
What’s In & What’s Out
- Eat with friends and family, or by yourself.
- No television, radio, computer or mobile devices allowed at the table.
- No talking on the phone.
- No working.
- Reading is allowed.
- If you slip, no biggie. Slipping means you’re trying, which is what counts! You can get back on track for the rest of the day.
Why This Is A Good Idea
Focusing entirely on your meal and your dining companions as opposed to your work, television or mobile device, allows you to more fully enjoy your food, and helps you to read your body’s signals of satiety—preventing mindless overeating. Studies show that when you eat distraction-free meals, you tend to eat less, and when you eat with distractions, you tend to eat more. Not only does eating without distractions prevent weight-gain from eating too much food, it also prevents you from eating snack foods and sugary foods you don’t particularly want. Plus it saves you money as you’ll likely have leftovers for later! Note: One element of distraction-free eating is to prevent overeating. Restricting oneself and focusing too much on weight can be harmful to the body, and to one’s mental health. Listen to your body, eat enough food but not too much, and don’t deprive yourself.
Basic Tips & Useful Hints
- Be sure to check in right after you had your distraction-free meal. It’s more effective than waiting till the end of the day.
- Eat at the dinner table, not on the couch. You’re less likely to multitask if you’re sitting at the table.
- Turn off the television. Turn off your phone. Leave your laptop in the other room.
- Cook your meals! You’ll give your food more attention and respect if you’ve prepared it yourself.
- Even if you’re eating takeout, use a plate and take an appropriate portion. Oftentimes takeout portions are much bigger than a single serving, so don’t let the container guide you.
- Make a meal that is particularly enjoyable to you—it should be enough to capture your attention at the table.
- Pay attention and savor each bite. Food is much more satisfying if you enjoy each bite you put in your mouth. Plus, if you don’t have a memory of eating, you’re more likely to eat again much sooner than if you had paid attention.
- Make your meal an occasion to share with friends and family, and enjoy the food together.
- Chew more! Chewing helps you digest your food more easily.
- Set your fork down between bites, and eat more slowly. If you’re not mindlessly shoveling in the grub you’ll be more aware of how full you are.
- Don’t let yourself get too famished between meals, or you’ll be more likely to grab something quickly while standing up or on the go.
- If you need something concrete, try setting a timer and enjoy your food distraction-free for that amount of time.
Smart Things To Read And Watch
- Mindful Eating: 5 Easy Tips To Get Started
- Want to eat well? Forget about willpower
- We Are How We Eat
- 9 Mindful Eating Tips
- Distracted eating may add to weight gain
- Effects of distraction on the development of satiety
- Eating ‘on the go’ could lead to weight gain
- Distracted dining? Steer clear of it
- Can mindful eating help lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- The sounds of eating may reduce how much you eat
Note: Foodstand is not focused on the number on the scale. Weight loss can be a byproduct of developing healthier eating habits, but if you have questions about your weight, please contact your physician.