As a country we are all culpable of the TV dinner. It all started in the eighties when convenience and ease was the order of the day. The microwave oven was becoming a regular in the home and home cooked food was slowly becoming a thing of the past. Is this down to money, materialism and the façade for personal success? Probably a mixture of all three actually.
Two things spring to my mind; one, the fact that when we cook in a microwave, a lot of nutrients diminish, and two, we also tend to eat in front of the TV also, causing us to eat subconsciously. This is a major problem, as we shovel endless amounts into our mouths, not listening to what our body is really telling us. Over eating is a massive problem when we do this, our mind is concentrating on ‘Eastenders’ rather than our senses telling us we are full and to stop.
We all do it, you go to the cinema to watch the latest George Clooney hit, and before you even get past the trailers, a large bucket of popcorn has been halved, maybe a hotdog has already been devoured, and how many sweets will you chow down? All subconsciously I might add. The exact same thing happens when we eat in front of the TV.
I’m the biggest culprit of this on a Saturday night. I have young kids and so my wife and I normally watch a film, its ‘our time’, and we usually have varying snacks. Most of the time we do make our own healthier versions but occasionally we will buy crappy stuff like crisps and chocolates.
When we are engrossed in the film, both of us will get through unbelievable amounts of sugary goods. We don’t realize until they have all gone too!
It is the subconscious element.
A solution to this problem is to concentrate on every mouthful and enabling yourself to listen to your body. This happens when you make mealtimes a conscious act, sit at a table with no digital distractions so you can concentrate on everything that goes into your mouth.
I’m willing to bet you’ll be surprised at how much food you leave on your plate when you listen to yourself and knowing when you get the signals that you are full. Plus, you will perhaps learn something about your loved ones, converse with them, make it a fun time too.
Too many families will eat at separate times. We always make sure that we eat together wherever possible, I think it bonds us closer.
Try it, eat together and concentrate on what your doing.