Medical Minute 4-12: Meals and Multitasking: A Bad Combo

By: Ramin Khalili Email
By: Ramin Khalili Email

You can't tell now - but fitness trainer Bonnie Matthews once weighed 130 pounds more. The 47-year-old blames most of that weight on poor lifestyle and food choices.
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Wellness Warrior:14
"I would eat whatever sandwiches, ice cream, pizza."
Back when Bonnie looked like this….
… she worked from home as a freelance illustrator. Most of her day was spent typing, drafting … and eating at the same time.
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Mercy Medical Center:29

"If you're not paying attention to what you're doing you tend to forget almost that you're eating and potentially eat more than you would have if you were focused on strictly active eating."

Doctor Jonathan Rich on a new study showing how you eat … may affect how much you eat. It found distracted eaters couldn't recall as much of their meal - just 30 minutes after eating. They were also less full after eating - and ate more during the study's taste test. All that may mean weight gain, as Americans spend 25 more minutes eating per day than we did 30 years ago.

"It's really a matter of paying attention to the fact that you're eating and not treat it as a secondary activity."

Bonnie knows the benefits of focusing on food. Fewer distractions led to massive weight loss … and a spot on the doctor oz t-v show.

"Portioning out my meals, thinking about what I'm going to have, when I'm going to do my intense workouts and what kinds of foods I need for that day."

Now, whether it's weight plates or the dinner plate - Bonnie knows what to target …

For more information on other series produced by Ivanhoe Broadcast News contact John Cherry at (407) 691-1500, jcherry@ivanhoe.com.

__________________________________________

BACKGROUND: In the fast-paced world of today, people may need to find opportunities to eat, which is often in conjunction with another task. Eating while distracted by the television, driving, the computer, and other various tasks is a common occurrence, but is also potentially dangerous for health reasons. Distracted eating could easily lead to over-eating and weight gain because the mental focus is not on satisfying hunger. When the focus is not on food, eating becomes a secondary action; mindless eating occurs, and the level of satiety is ignored. Shorter intervals in-between meals and prolonged eating are both factors of distracted eating. Studies have shown distracted eaters consume 100 percent more after their meals, and their snacking habits are 20 to 100 percent greater than those who do not engage in distracted eating. (SOURCE: http://www.eating.health.com)

PREVENTION: Avoiding distracted eating may seem simple, but it can be quite difficult to break the habitual routine of multitasking while involving food. Compiling a list of potential distractions encountered while eating can help tremendously. Do what is necessary to keep the listed distractions powered off, or at a distance during mealtime. Also, recording behavioral habits when eating in a food diary would be beneficial. Noting what is eaten, with whom, and where can aid in breaking the chain of distracted eating not only at home, but in restaurants where many distractions are prevalent.

HOW TO EAT: There is a key to eating that will not only provide greater satisfaction during meals, but also control eating habits.
• Designate one table as an eating and drinking location, and only eat and drink while in this spot.
• Set the table with plates, napkins, silverware before eating.
• Turn off the television, and computer, and keep the phone at a distance from the table.
• If driving, pull over or park the car and eat.
• Make food the main distraction. Concentrate on the taste, the feeling, and embrace every aspect of the meal.(SOURCE:http://caloriecount.about.com)

For More Information, Contact:
Dan Collins/ Media Relations
Mercy Medical Center
dcollins@mdmercy.com


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