It Counts Even if You are Standing Up
How often have you started eating while you were looking in the fridge for something to eat? Or grabbed a handful of nuts as you walked past the kitchen, or finished off your kids leftovers standing up over the sink? So often we engage in mindless eating that we don’t even register as eating. But those moments count! In fact, studies show that we under-report our calorie intake by up to 2000 calories per day! Are we lying? Of course not! Often we are not even aware enough to know we are eating much less remember that we ate it.
A good practice is to create dedicated time for eating- that is a meal! And to only eat when sitting down. You can accomplish a lot by following this practice. First, it allows you to bring awareness to the simple fact that you are eating. For example, we may not notice that we are still eating when we are clearing the table or putting away our leftovers. It also prompts you to consider why you are eating. Maybe you are not even hungry or even interested in what is mindlessly being munched on. A great example is the cold scraps left behind by our kids.
Sitting for meals reminds us that there is a dedicated eating time and once you are away from the table that dedicated time is over. Avoiding food away from the table also cuts down on all those additional bites and handfuls that can add up.
Eating while sitting also encourages you to slow down. Slower eating results in greater satiety or fullness because we become aware of the fact that we are full at the time when we feel full, not after. Sitting for meals is also important for cultivating healthy eating habits and healthy weight for the whole family. In fact family meals are associated with healthier weight in children. Finally, sitting and eating with presence brings a greater appreciation and enjoyment of food. When eating is not rushed, we chew longer, savor more and appreciate all the sensations- smell, texture, taste that allows for a satisfying meal. So here’s to sitting more and eating less!
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