Does screen time while eating mix?
Kari Mizgalski, a Marshfield Clinic Health System registered dietitian, said one of the main problems with eating in front of technology is that you’re not paying attention to your food.
“Your brain isn’t getting the signals it needs to feel satisfied,” she said. “Part of meeting your hunger cues is actually seeing what you’re eating. When you don’t pay attention, this leads to overeating.”
Overeating can lead to obesity, which could then lead to diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease and the list goes on.
How to stop mindless eating
It’s important for families to start the habit of eating at the table and without technology early on. Mizgalski said if someone grows up eating in front of the TV, chances are they will raise their own family eating in front of the TV as well.
She also suggests slowing down when you eat. Typically, it takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full. Take your time and put your fork down between bites.
Mizgalski said if you are still hungry after those 20 minutes, try adding more vegetables to your plate. Focus on socializing with family to occupy your mind, or drink water to satisfy your cravings.
As for movie nights with popcorn or causal snacks throughout your day, Mizgalski recommends portioning out those snacks to make sure you aren’t overeating. Just paying attention to what you are eating has positive effects on your waistline and overall health.
“Practice mindful eating,” Mizgalski said. “Pay attention to all the senses while eating – seeing, smelling and touching. Focus on your food. It will make it much more enjoyable.”