I consume a lot of health-related content but I also forget a lot of what I read - with a few exceptions. One of those exceptions is an article in the Journal of Gastroenterology about distracted eating that I read many years ago. It stated that eating on autopilot is stress-eating. Something I pondered for a while because I couldn't make the connection.
As someone who experiences many discomforts after eating and who isn't totally convinced that my doctor's "IBS-C" diagnosis is necessarily accurate, pieces like these left me thinking and doing further research.
One day, not long ago, as I was eating on the sofa with the dinner try on my lap as I caught up on the episodes of The Blacklist that I had missed while watching someone get their brains blown out on TV, the essence of the article came back to me and I thought: Could this be stress-eating?
It turns out that the answer is yes.
Here's how eating in front of the TV causes stress eating
Eating while you’re slouched over is a terrible position for digestion because it increases the chance that food will get trapped causing gas, heartburn, and bloating.
When we’re eating while watching TV, we tend to eat more because we’re paying less attention to our internal processing food cues which tell us when we’re full.
The habit of eating in front of the TV feeds into the habit of nighttime snacking.
Nighttime snacking can lead to sleep disturbances, and we don’t get refreshing sleep then.
Late-night snacking leaves more undigested food behind in the colon, causing more belly fat and stomach distention.
And, there’s a risk of lower back pain associated with sitting on soft sofas.
There I was, on the one hand, doing so many things right in order to maintain my weight and control my IBS symptoms but with poor habits like these, I was sabotaging my hard work.
I recommend finding alternatives to eating in front of the TV and making those alternatives attractive.
Here are some you should consider:
1. Make Your Dining Area Pretty
We’re pleasure seekers, it’s true, but it’s not just food that can give us a pleasurable dining experience. Flowers, a fruit bowl, or a pair of beautiful candlesticks on the table,