Eating lunch at your computer could make you fat: Snacking at your keyboard boosts your appetite later on
That was the headline I saw on a UK site while I was eating my yogurt at my desk today. I am certainly not alone in mastering the art of eating and tapping on the computer keyboard at work.
Now, it is being studied. And the studies seem to indicate that eating at your desk makes you far more likely to snack later in the day. The researchers, from the University of Bristol, were studying the ways in which memory and attention influence our appetite.
Eating at your desk leads to distraction and irritability and actually leaves you hungrier than if you eat mindfully.
They used for the study the distraction of playing solitaire on a computer while participants ate. The control group ate without distraction. The study found that solitaire-players ended up more hungry after eating twice as much food as the control.
Not only do we tend to eat more when we’re distracted, but even if we decide in advance how much we’re going to eat – just a yogurt and coffee – we’re likely to be hungrier if we eat it at our desk.
That mind/body connection is so strong that when we aren’t mindful of our eating, our bodies are less likely to notice that we’re full.
What would mindful eating look like? Paying close attention to WHAT we are eating, WHERE we are eating it, WHAT we are doing while we eat and actually remembering what we have eaten.
I’m sitting down to dinner after I post this. I won’t sit in front of the TV and watch the news. I will try to focus on each food. I will eat slowly. I will speak only about pleasant things with my wife.