Do you multi-task at meal time?
If you eat while on the computer, watching TV or doing other things, this means there's a good chance you're over-indulging, too. (So found a variety of studies, which link distraction with mindless bingeing. A review of 24 studies drew that conclusion in the April 2013 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.)
Now, more research published in Psychological Science reveals that doing mentally taxing tasks while you eat will make your food taste bland, too.
In other words, when you juggle too many things at mealtime, you just won't enjoy or appreciate your food as much.
We don't want meal time to be dull and unsatisfactory, right?
What's more, scientists at the Institute for Psychological Research at Leiden University in The Netherlands discovered that when participants ate sour, sweet and salty substances while doing various tasks, they consumed more food and preferred stronger tastes.
In addition doing other things while eating makes your food tastes bland. Indeed, researchers found that an "increased task load reduces people’s taste perception by limiting attentional capacity to assess taste intensity and that people adjust their consumption accordingly."
In short, the researchers believe that cognitive load may compete with sensory input for our attention.
But let's focus on the good news, as pointed out by Scientific American's Tori Rodriguez. Other studies have found you eat less when you pay mindful attention to your food and fully focus on the taste, armona and texture.
The important takeaway, as I see it, is that if you want to peel off the pounds, cut out multi-tasking at meal time.
Besides, as this new study reveals, you'll enjoy your more, too.
So join me: Mindfully savor each morsel or swallow at each meal or snack.