Watching Netflix while settling on the couch eating dinner is one of my favorite evening rituals.
I’ll literally let my food go cold while I’m scrolling for something to look at as the combination of eating and watching is so enjoyable to me. Ingrained in American culture is the concept of watching while eating, this is not just me. We are a nation that likes to snack on popcorn at the films. We literally invented the TV dinner.
Here’s the thing though: Eating with a fork in one hand and a far-off in the other goes against all healthy eating true-isms. Target every bite, we’re told. How does the food feel in your mouth? What are the sensations in your body? Eating mindfully is meant to assist curb overeating and keep us more satisfied, but I’ve got to mention, I’m not an admirer. Some years ago, I spent every meal doing this for every week, and that I was so intensely bored. What gives?
“While watching something, they get plenty of enjoyment eating.” That’s because dopamine, the pleasure chemical, can be stimulated by both eating food and watching TV”, said Sophie Mort.
This is partially a cultural thing, says Dr. Mort— watching TV, now IPTV in the modern times, and eating don’t combine for some people in other places. “In America and in other parts of the world, food is more complicated, as opposed to some countries where food is the event.” Dr. Mort says.
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Because our culture values productivity, making it rare for us to try to do one thing at a time, a lot of people eat while watching TV, Dr. Mort adds. Why just eat after you may also squeeze in your only time to catch au fait Jane the Virgin? She says—people are too busy trying to urge everything done resulting in why they don’t take true lunch breaks.
Childhood can inherit play for a few people, too, says Dr. Mort. If food was strictly only allowed at the table in your house once you were a child, she says that creates someone less likely to develop an eating-while-watching habit.
This might all sound sort of a bad thing—isn’t mindful eating the gold standard? But there’s some room for that Netflix marathon while you chow down.
Museles argues that there is still room for mindfulness when combining food and television watching. If you opt to travel ahead, then you’ll be able to be content knowing you’re doing something you actively decided to try and do. Sometimes you will attempt to do something else, she says—and that’s fine, too. “Maybe you realize that you just desire doing it because you’re lonely, so you opt to call an addict instead,” she says. She suggests, for instance, doing a fast body scan between commercials or while another episode is loading to work out if you truly are still hungry.
“To ask yourself why you’re doing it, that is the secret,” Museles says.