How multitasking affects our eating habits


Arpita Das

A picture of me multitasking,eating while watching television, something I do without even realizing.

As someone who is stuck in the continuous cycle of going to school, participating in extracurriculars, and constantly doing schoolwork for upcoming assessments, it would be dishonest if I said that no multitasking went on during this schedule I call my daily routine. 

Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day, and the average human eats around two to three meals per day. But, because everyone is diverse in terms of age and schedule, multitasking affects everyone’s eating habits differently. 

For me, multitasking usually means altering the way I consume my meals, whether that be studying, watching television, or even skipping meals simply because there are other tasks that are more important on my ladder of priorities. 

We can lose weight but also make more informed decisions about the certain quantity and type of food that we eat.

Aside from the fact this is not the most effective method to complete tasks, it gets the job done despite how unhealthy it can be. But what I never really stopped to think about was how this would affect my eating habits. 

For example, I wake up an hour before school to brush my teeth, shower, complete any homework, and crunch in any last minute studying before I leave. This often meant one of three options:  taking one bite of my breakfast, drinking a beverage, or completely skipping eating.

Over time, this started to cause more problems rather than resolve them. My stomach would grumble during class and I would get anxious while completing schoolwork or taking assessments. 

A method I have been using recently that has allowed me to complete schoolwork while eating is an approach some people may know as meal planning—planning your meals ahead of time. 

Luckily for me, it does not take much to keep me full for a long period of time. 

There are other tasks that are more important on my ladder of priorities.

Oatmeal can be made overnight and stored in the fridge, and an omelet takes around 2-5 minutes to cook. Within minutes of my morning I am more educated and satisfied because of this technique. 

However, there are some days where I forget to do this, leading me to eat something on the go or consume my breakfast quickly, leaving me bloated and unhappy. But what I have found is that the reason why people get bloated is because they are consuming so much air at such an abrupt rate, making them bloated and fill up with gas, similar to that of a balloon. 

According to Northwestern Medicine, by practicing “mindful eating” we can lose weight but also make more informed decisions about the certain quantity and type of food that we eat. 

Examples of mindful eating include chewing your food at a constant rate and avoiding any distractions such as technology. By doing this, you are not only able to properly digest the food you eat, but you are also able to prevent your brain from overloading itself with too many tasks at once. 

According to Health Cleveland Clinic, when we multitask such as by eating while watching television, our focus is now towards the screen, not the food. When we do this, it confuses our brain and doesn’t allow us to fully understand when we are full and either leads us to overeating by taking more snack breaks throughout the day. 

Although it can be difficult to give our undivided attention to every little task that we accomplish every day, if we paid a little more attention to our eating habits, we would be better off.