Multitasking can be a great thing. You can cut weekly coupons out of the paper while catching up on the daily news or, perhaps prep lunches for the week while you are cooking dinner. However, there is no place for multitasking while you are eating. Being mindful while you eat is an important practice for a healthy lifestyle. It means bringing awareness to your eating. Engaging with other activities while you eat does the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. You may think you are saving time but in reality, you are removing your enjoyment from eating and not saving anything at all.
If you are the type of person who thinks eating at your desk through your lunch hour is saving you some time, then think again. How much time do you think it is really saving you? In the 10-15 minutes it may take for a person to eat a sandwich or bowl of soup, how much could you have actually accomplished? Don’t forget to deduct the time it took to clean the crumbs off your keyboard, wipe the soup splash off your screen and set up an eating area at your work station. Engaging in other activities also distracts from our mind/body connection. So, instead of realizing you are full and probably don’t need that last ¼ of the sandwich, you automatically finish it as your mind is too distracted on other things (like your work) to notice. It also takes time to get your focus back as you take your attention away from work to take a bite.
So, go ahead and carve out some time during your day to eat. You will have a more sustained focus if you take the ten minutes for yourself to eat and focus on your food. Be mindful of your eating and listen when your mind says to you “hey, I’ve had enough”. Not only will you taste the food while you are eating it, but you will eat less if you are able to keep your mind body connection without any distractions. Bon appetit!