Want to lose weight? Start eating at the dinner table!

Do you ever eat your breakfast, dinner, lunch or supper whilst watching TV?  Sometimes, most of the time, all of the time?   Did you know that if you do two things at once (for example watching TV and eating dinner) you actually pay less attention to one of them.  And in the case of TV and dinner, its the dinner that loses.  What do I mean by this?  Well, as your focus is on the TV screen, you end up ignoring what you put in your mouth.    As a result, food just gets eaten without it really being noticed.   You also won’t know when to stop; you wont be aware of the ‘I am full’ signals that the body will be telling you as your TV hijacks you away.   And what does that mean?  Well, it means you eat more, without you knowing it, and then you sneakily pile the weight on – again, without you knowing it.    And that can happen to your kids too (if they too watch TV and eat like you).

So, how about this: start eating at the dinner table.   Switch the tele off and start spending quality time with your other half, the kids or even just yourself.   It  might be a little odd, weird or uncomfortable at first, but that soon goes away.  And when you do start eating with more awareness (what we call ‘eating mindfully’), you will notice that food tastes so much better.  You might actually pick up on beautiful flavours that you had never realised before.    And another big plus –  you will know when to stop eating, because you will recognise your body when it tells you that it is full.  It might take a few days for you to recognise the signals – after all, you’ve probably been blunting them for years – but you will get there.  The result of all of this: it will  curb the weight from sneakily putting itself on.

And do stop eating when you are full.  By full, I don’t mean that bloated feeling when someone has over done it – like at Christmas, Diwali, Vaisakhi or Eid.   I just mean when you feel your body has enough food in it to be satisfied but not full to the extent that you couldn’t (say) go out for a walk.   Don’t be scared to leave food on the plate.    Eventually, you will work out how much food it generally takes to ‘fill’ you and hopefully you’ll then start making appropriately sized meals rather than bunging your plate up until it’s as high as the Eiffel Tower!

Oh, one final another thing.  Want to know how to have more meaningful and enjoyable discussions with your kids at the dinner table?   Really get to know them and how they think?   Read this interesting article that was forwarded onto me.  It’s called: ‘What’s your favorite mistake?’ and other questions to get kids talking at the table’. 

Happy reading.

Dr Mehay