Healthy Habit Update: Have I stopped eating in front of screens?

By February 22, 2018Food for Thought
Make ahead grain bowls

I’m happy to report that since the start of the month I haven’t eaten lunch in front of my computer at work. That was my original goal in my Healthy Habit post for February. I did eat at my desk once, but I didn’t multitask and work while I ate. I ate at my desk, because the office kitchen was busy and I had a webinar starting soon. My goal was to make improvements rather than following a set of stringent rules, so I’m still consider that a success.

The two things I was going to do to help me achieve the initial part of my goal were sort of helpful.

  • Set a recurring lunch appointment on my calendar. This was helpful. I’m not sure if it reduced the number of people that requested lunch meetings, but it helped me be cognizant that I needed to plan time to eat and not work. I moved it around so that each day had time to eat lunch.
  • I said I was going to put my lunch in the refrigerator near the kitchen tables rather than the other kitchen closer to my desk. The goal of doing this was to urge me to eat in the kitchen rather than my desk. I did this for the first week and then I stopped, BUT I kept eating in the kitchen.

One of the things I’ve noticed by changing how I eat lunch is how good my lunch tastes. When I’m not also rushing through lunch while rushing through work, I can really focus on what I’m eating. And it’s good!

Focusing on what I really need

After success with my initial goal of not eating lunch in front of my screen, I observed my behavior and took notes just like I did initially. I noticed I was still snacking in the afternoon while working. So for the past week, I’ve been trying to not snack in front of my computer at work. It’s going pretty well, but not perfect like my lunch experiment. It helps if I don’t have quick bite snack ready foods at my desk. Peanut butter and apple slices require that I go to the kitchen to slice up my apple and put my snack on a plate.

But mostly I recognized that snacking at my desk in the afternoon is the sign I need to take a break. So instead of snacking, I take 5-10 minutes and walk across the office to ask someone a question about a project and catch up on non-work stuff too, like the ever important how are the dogs handling the cold, snowy weather we have this week. Important stuff, right?

The other thing I’ve started to do is drink more water. Winter in Colorado can be really drying and I’m thirsty much of the time. Our bodies aren’t great at discerning hunger from thirst, so I try drinking some water first.

I’ve noticed that eating in front of screens isn’t too much of a problem at home. Sometimes I read through work email while eating breakfast, but I’ve been able to reduce that significantly this month also.

I’m still experimenting with not snacking at my desk. It’s challenging to find another behavior that adequately takes the place of “I need a break” induced snacking. I’ll let you know how it’s going when I share in March’s Healthy Habit post.

Your turn

Now it’s your turn. How have your experiments been going to reduce eating in front of screens and more importantly really savor your food? What have the observation and experiments taught you?

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