If multitasking is your best friend, mindful eating probably does not serve a purpose in your life. It may be hard to imagine sitting down during a meal and spending 20 minutes to eat your food without any distractions. We spend a lot of time eating while on the computer, on the phone, or watching TV. Although it may seem that we are getting more accomplished through multitasking, eating when you are busy can confuse your mind and body into eating more.
We spoke with Barb Schmidt, international speaker and best-selling author of The Practice, and Amanda Foti, nutritionist for Selvera Wellness, about the importance of mindful eating and preventing overeating.
“Mindful eating means eating without focusing our attention on anything else — no TV, newspaper, computer, tablet, or phone. When we eat without any potentially stressful distractions, we feel at ease by being in the moment when we are eating. So, by mindful eating, we contribute to our overall happiness,” Schmidt said. “Because so many Americans eat and drink while driving, U.S. automakers advertise how many cup holders their cars have! Taking the time [to] sit and savor while being fully present to the experience of eating, and perhaps sharing in this with others, is a simple way to improve our overall quality of life.”
Sometimes overeating is intentional. Reaching for food when you are upset, sad, angry, or tired is a common method for coping with feelings. However, junk food does not have the power to make you feel better and after the cookie jar is empty, you will be even more emotional, this time with feelings of guilt and regret. Prevent this spiral from happening by taking charge of your emotions and eating habits. Creating new habits for yourself can help with the introduction of mindful eating and less overeating.