A focus on food

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I am unclear why two things we love, eating and entertainment, have become so linked. Sit down to eat a snack or a meal by yourself and most people find themselves checking their phone, reading a newspaper, or watching TV. I am certainly no exception. But, as research and personal experience both demonstrate, our brains are wired so that actual multitasking, in this case, fully enjoying both food and the entertainment, is impossible. Yet we do this All. The. Time. It is easy for us to demolish large quantities of food without appreciating or even acknowledging it when we are focused on something else. We do this at the movie theatres where huge bins of popcorn and giant cups of soda are consumed on autopilot while we focus on the plot unfolding on the screen in front of us. We used to visit a man who hated to eat and listen to the radio at the same time because he found that he would get enraptured with the radio and the next thing he would know, the food would be gone without any enjoyment by him. Multitasking food and entertainment steals enjoyment both from our food and the entertainment and for no significant gain.

Try this sometime. Sit down in a quiet room and eat. Enjoy the meal. Consider how it tastes and how it takes away the feelings of hunger. Even in a quiet room focusing on the food and not on the to do list in your head is an issue. Don’t talk with other people or surf the internet. Don’t think about your favorite book, movie, or TV show. Don’t think about other people who would like the food. Don’t make plans for the rest of the day. Focus on the food and the act of eating. Then focus on the entertainment.

Your attention is one of the most valuable assets you have, spend it wisely.

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