Want to Lose Weight? Then Pay Attention!
Picture this: You're sitting in a movie
popcorn and soda in hand, chatting with friends and
waiting for the show to start. Finally, the lights go
down and you reach for the popcorn and you realize
you're scraping the bottom of the barrel.
That's right — you managed to eat the whole thing while you weren't paying
The good news is you're not alone. A new study of healthy-weight women
revealed that even restrained eaters consumed significantly more calories when
they were distracted than when they were alone without outside stimuli.
Researchers from Hospital Hotel-Dieu in Paris, France recruited 41 women, ages
26 to 55, to eat lunch once a week under four different conditions in a laboratory
They were alone without distraction, alone while listening to recorded
instruction on how to focus on the taste of their food, and alone while listening
to a tape of a detective story.
And they ate lunch with three other women who were also participating in the
Despite reporting equal levels of hunger under all four conditions, they ate
considerably more calories while listening to the detective story.
Researchers recommend that people who wish to maintain or lose weight avoid
eating while watching TV, talking on the phone or listening to music, all
activities capable of derailing even the best weight-loss efforts.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001, 74, 197-200