There is one aspect to losing weight through diet that can be improved greatly when you can get rid of all distractions while you are eating. This applies to all food, whether it is a specially prepared diet meal, a regular meal or even a snack. There are several reasons why distractions can adversely affect the way in which the body deals with food and several different types of distraction that can alter the amount of calories or food bulk we ingest at each sitting.
If you think you might be distracting yourself to a weight loss failure, or even to a situation where you are gaining weight unnecessarily, read on.
These days, there are many distractions that can get in the way of truly enjoying a meal. But it is not just the enjoyment of the meal that is at risk by being distracted.
You can also distract your body from processing the food well enough and causing more fat to be stored than it ought to be. This is because when the digestive system is working at its peak efficiency, it extracts the maximum nutrients from the food we eat and discards what it does not need. However, when that process is not as efficient as it should be, less of the nutrients get used by the body and more get stored because the body can't use them right away, or it is fooled into believing it doesn't need them by whatever it is that is distracting you from the business of eating your meal.
Not only that, but you could also be eating far more than you need to when you are not paying full attention to your meal. This is because your brain doesn't get a chance to register that your stomach is full until long after you have loaded too much food in there. So you end up eating far more than you need and that excess is stored as fat simply because your body doesn't need it right then.
When you do this constantly, your stomach gets larger to cope with the extra food it is always getting, meaning you take even longer to feel full and often may still feel hungry after eating even a large meal.
So what are the things that cause these distractions and how can we fix the problem?
What is Distracting You?
The main cause of distraction is the television. Far too many people grab their meal and sit down in front of the TV to eat it. By doing that, almost all of your attention is focused on whatever it is you are watching on the TV, which almost none of your attention is given over to your food. You might as well be eating cardboard, for all you know or care when you are engrossed in a good movie or episode of your favourite series. Do yourself a big favour and eat your food in a different room to the TV!
Reading a newspaper or a magazine or even a book is also distracting and can have a similar effect to watching the television, although not quite to the same extent. Playing music is also a bad idea, especially if it has a relatively fast beat. This is because music with a beat in excess of 125 beats per minute will make you eat faster.
When you eat faster, again you don't allow your brain to register a full stomach until long after you have overloaded it. If you doubt this fact, have a listen next time you are in a fast food restaurant to the background music. It will always be up tempo and often fairly quiet and unobtrusive because even though you are not always consciously aware of it, you are unconsciously aware of the beat and will eat your meal faster. This is good business for such restaurant owners as it means customers eat up and leave quicker making room for the next customers!
Tricks to Getting Focused
In order to get the most from your meal and to get used to eating less in order to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, you can use these techniques to help you:
- Put less food on your fork
- Put your knife and fork down and take your hands off them after each bite
- Chew your food slowly and concentrate on the flavour
- Don't pick up your fork until you have completely swallowed your last mouthful
- As soon as you feel full, stop eating!
When you eat much more slowly, your brain is able to register when your stomach is full much quicker, preventing you from wanting to eat more. This works and because you are eating slower, your digestive system works at a more efficient rate. This means you metabolize your food much more efficiently and far less gets stored as fat.
It doesn't really take a lot to alter bad eating habits for good ones using these great weight loss tips. When you don't have any distractions, you'll find you can make the change much easier and then enjoy your food more while helping yourself to maintain a healthy weight.