We can probably guess how your daily breakfast routine goes: you wake up with every intention of sitting down to breakfast, but end up glancing at the clock, grabbing a granola bar and a cup of coffee, and running out the door.You may be saving yourself time, but a new study suggests you could be gaining pounds, too.
Research published in the Journal of Health Psychology says that eating on the go is a real impediment to weight loss and may trick your brain into wanting to eat more. Researchers surveyed a group of women, gave them a cereal bar, and split them into three groups: one group ate while walking, the other two while talking to a friend and watching TV. Afterward, the women were given a bunch of snacks and told they could eat however much they wanted. The women in the walking group ate by far the most snacks.
Walking or driving, researchers argue, requires a higher level of concentration, so your brain is distracted while eating. As a result, it doesn’t really register that cereal bar. Another theory has more to do with wanting to reward ourselves after physical activity.
“Walking may have triggered overeating, not due to the exercise per se but to the perception of exercise and a sense of legitimation,” researchers wrote.