If your life is anything like mine, you'll live in a small flat that most definitely doesn't have room for a dining table. Which means, 90 percent of the time, I eat my food on the sofa, watching TV. What can I say, a high stool pulled up to the kitchen worktop just isn't as comfortable (and, well, I can't see the TV if I do that).
But—aside from the fact your mom would probably nag you to "stop being so obsessed with that Netflix"—there's another, important health reason you should probably drop that eat-while-you-watch habit. It makes you bloat—big time.
"Eating on the go, in front of the TV or at your desk in front of a computer has a detrimental effect on digestion," Hannah Braye, nutritional therapist at Lepicol reveals. And there's an interesting reason why.
Digestion is a process made up of various stages, one of which is called the cephalic stage. This, Braye explains, "starts in the brain and occurs even before food enters the stomach."
That's because the first stage of digestion is triggered by the sight, smell, thought or taste of food. "It stimulates around 20 percent of the digestive secretions needed to digest a meal," says Hannah.
"When we focus on other things rather than our food, the cephalic phase is inhibited, which can contribute to bloating," the nutritional therapist adds.
So while the concept of "mindful eating" might seem like an empty notion to you, it actually has some important biological grounding. Unless you like being bloated after every meal, of course.
"Give your food the attention it deserves. Turn off the TV and computer and get away from your desk at lunch," Braye suggests. "Focus on the anticipation of eating along with the flavors, textures, and smells of each mouthful."
Who knows, it might even make you feel a little calmer while you're at it.
Follow Cat on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.