How easily distracted are you? A quick private quiz for you ...
Put up your hand if you have ever done or do any of the following:
I suspect you will have raised your hand at least once. You, like most other people including me, are a distracted diner. I doubt there is one person I know that would honestly say "I have never ever done any of those things".
You are normal. It turns out that we are all distracted diners at some time. To be a totally aware and attentive diner or conscious consumer is a rarity.
Did you realise that distracted dining is somewhat of a health hazard?
Distracted diners forget that they've eaten, forget what they've eaten or misjudge how much they've had.
Distracted dining leads to overeating of both amount and total kilojoules. Whilst that may be fine for frail or elderly folk who need to consume more overall, distracted dining is destructive for those who want to improve their health and reduce body size.
You've possibly experienced the surprise moment when you reach for another morsel only to find the plate is bare and the packet is already empty yet you were the only eater. It happens to me when I work by the computer at breakfast time to meet a deadline. My toast disappears yet I have little memory of eating it and feel almost cheated when I discover it is finished. Crumbs on the empty plate are evidence.
If you are not sure why you are are not making headway with your health or weight and you keep a food and exercise diary but it is not revealing anything, it could be time to spy on yourself.
You are searching for destructive distracted dining but how can you spot it if you aren't even aware of doing it?
How to spy on yourself?
Whilst pedometers are a simple low-tech fitness spy, there is no serious equivalent chew-ometer to spy on your own eating.
Take a tip from nutrition researchers who use point-of-view (POV) wearable cameras to observe and record food and drink consumption for their experiments and data collection. We know that written food diaries only capture what you remember to record or what you choose to record. When worn correctly, POV cameras capture every moment of your consumption as well as footage of everyone else in range.
To do this at home, you could invest in a discrete wearable spy-style POV camera and sit through hours of recorded footage to spot the eating events or you could try the following:
Whilst none of these tips will stop your distracted dining, they may help you spot it. Once spotted, you are able to stop it or at least control it and move on to become a discerning diner rather than a distracted one.
Pure eating without distraction can make a difference to overall consumption; the amount, quality and total kilojoules.