Scripts aren’t just for movie and television actors. All of us have our own scripts. In particular, all of us have an “eating” script. Our scripts are not that easily read meaning, most of the time, our scripts are like icebergs; we can only see part of it while the majority of it is hidden. What do I mean?
Have you ever watched TV while eating dinner? Of course you have. Did you know you eat 28% more food while watching TV? You probably didn’t. This is an example of your “eating” script. While the TV gets blame for many unfit figures it’s other subtle, social cues that shape our eating habits. Men tend to eat more on a date because, subconsciously, we think women like seeing men with an appetite and this relates to our “manliness.” In turn, women tend to eat less on a date because eating too much is not considered feminine. The ironic part about this comparison is that studies have shown the overwhelming majority of men don’t think women who eat less are more feminine and women don’t think a man with an appetite is a sign of his manliness. Still, it greatly effects how we eat in front of the other sex.
How about eating around a group of people? Would that affect your eating habits? It sure does! Just eating with one more person at the dinner table increases your foods in take by 35%. Can you guess how much more you eat when you’re out with 7 or more friends at a restaurant? 50% more? 70% more? WRONG! You eat NINETY-SIX percent more food. That’s nearly double what you would have eaten by yourself!
Come from a big family? I don’t mean “big” as in “lots of people” but bigger waistlines. What about a leaner family? The type of people you grow up around greatly impacts your eating habits. Sure, genetics play a role but a very, very small role when it comes to your health and waistline. As the saying goes, “genetics load the gun, environment pulls the trigger.” Family eating habits reflect off of one another, starting with the parents and working it’s way down from the oldest sibling to the youngest. If you come from a bigger family then your eating habits tend to be larger and more frequent and vice versa for a leaner family.
We’ve already covered one eating distraction, watching TV. While watching TV is a big culprit in overeating it’s not alone. What about your cell phone? I’m sure many of you can attest to eating while scrolling through your Facebook news feed or reading the latest article from BuzzFeed on how to not overeat while watching TV (this is called “Inception” lol). Reading the newspaper, playing a game, and so on. All of these are ways we distract our brains, and our stomachs, from realizing how much food we’re consuming in one sitting.
Eating based on the weather is nothing new. It’s part of our biology. When the seasons changed and the days were shorter, temperature began to drop, and there was rain/snow we tended to eat more. It was a method to help insulate us from the colder seasons that were on the way. During the warmer months we would consume less food and focus on hydration. Plus, we tend to move more in the warmer months. Despite temperature-controlled environments, plenty of food and water, we still eat based on the seasons. Chalk it up to evolution.
Did you enjoy these little tidbits on eating? Let me know what you think!
STAY FIT MY FRIENDS!