In a recent study published in the Journal of Health Psychology it has been revealed that eating on the go causes weight gain.
With obesity levels on the rise, perhaps this study can reveal what we can change to avoid this weight gain.
What did the study entail?
During the study the researchers at the University of Surrey in the UK looked at both dieters and non-dieters in 3 different conditions:
- Those who ate while watching TV
- Those who ate while walking
- Those who ate while chatting to a friend
We have seen before how ‘mindless eating’ can ruin a diet so it was of no surprise to learn that those who ate while watching TV overeat.
What was more of a surprise was that out of the 3 groups those that ate while walking consumed the most.
What caused these results?
Lead author Jane Ogden, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Surrey had this to say about the results:
“Hunger and fullness are far more than just biological processes, and not only relate to the calories consumed, but also to whether a person is aware of what they are eating.”
“When we eat mindlessly and are distracted from the food we are eating, our body doesn’t get to code the food as having been eaten.”
“I think eating on the go may cause more overeating than watching TV not only because it is a powerful form of distraction but it’s also a form of exercise.”
“People may then overcompensate for this exercise and feel that they are legitimately allowed to eat more.”
What can we do to avoid weight gain?
These days we lead very busy lives so many of us either eat on the go, or worse still skip meals altogether. No wonder so many of us have a problem with our weight.
If this sounds like you then I would suggest pre-preparing meals for the week so that you don’t have to spend an hour trying to prepare something healthy after a busy day at work.
When it comes to eating the food, try to remove the distractions too.
This means that you should switch off the TV, perhaps sit at a table with your family or friends, while also putting away your mobile phone or laptop too.