Table For One: The Art Of Eating Alone


Table For One: The Art Of Eating Alone

You get home after a hectic day of work, hungry and exhausted. Why do not you run out to the organic market for some Parmesan cheese, quinoa, fresh farm eggs and broccoli? You have the intention of making the souffle go to you just like in your favorite cooking program, and to be able to enjoy nutritious gourmet cooking in... three hours. More traffic.

Of course, that is not realistic. You're busy and that Crunch Raisin Bran box is ready and waiting. You can pour it in a bowl, lie on the couch and eat in a few minutes watching your favorite series. Or maybe you thought about it before and, on the way home, you went through fast food, again.

If this sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. Americans, more than ever, are eating alone and at the pace. Instead of planning your day around balanced meals, you can make an effort to reduce them. In some aspects, the abundance and comfort of food is an advantage, but not being able to prepare it and sit down to enjoy nutritious and balanced meals poses numerous risks. Understanding eating traps can only inspire you to avoid these problems.

We metabolize all our experiences, not just the foods we eat. When we are alone watching the news while we have dinner, we absorb that. If the news program is about murders and chaos, this does not cause a positive link.

Darcy Lubbers, certified family and marriage therapist

Countertops, cars and sofas

With nearly 50,000 fast food chains in the United States, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, it is not It's surprising that Americans spend more than $ 140 million on salty and oversized chips while driving. In 2007, Americans spent another $ 7 billion on frozen foods, most of which consisted of instant meals and pizzas. This growing popularity of prepared, packaged and highly processed foods presents a number of risks.

"I do not have exact figures on frequency," said registered dietician Dina Aronson, "but it has definitely become more common in the modern world, as less emphasis is placed on family meals and more people eat on the road. home, in the office, in front of the television and only at home.

The availability of instant food and frozen foods are "very convenient for one person," said Sylvia Meléndez-Klinger, registered dietitian and founder from Hispanic Food Communications Inc. "Eating on your own helps develop unhealthy eating habits, like eating a lot or a little, eating in front of the television or standing up and not taking the time to do it properly.

While dining alone, you are also more likely to eat foods directly from the packages instead of using plates to properly measure the portions.And your cooking techniques are mainly overheating, the use of microwaves and the opening of cans.

If your meals lack fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and whole grains rich in fiber, you run the risk of developing nutritional deficiencies, digestive health problems and an increased susceptibility to infections and diseases. Many frozen, canned and prepared snacks contain excessive amounts of sugar and sodium - traits that can contribute to serious health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

In a study published in May 2008 in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," the researchers analyzed dietary patterns, television viewing habits and weight of Australian adults ages 26 to 36. Women who watched the most Three hours of television a day were significantly more likely to present abdominal obesity compared to women who watched less than one hour per day. Moderate abdominal obesity was common among male frequent television watchers and uncommon among men who watched little television every day.

The effects of emotions on weight

Eating alone while walking or in the midst of intense distraction also brings emotional complications.

"We metabolize all our experiences, not just the foods we eat," said Darcy Lubbers, a certified family and marriage therapist. "When we're alone and watching the news while we're having dinner, we absorb that. about murders and chaos, it's not a positive link. "

As a result, you may experience more stress, anxiety, depressed mood and physical symptoms, such as indigestion, flatulence and heartburn. Your mind takes about 20 minutes sending the message "I'm full!" to your body, Lubbers said, eating quickly and without thinking - without paying attention to food, the body and your needs - can also lead you to overeat and generate associated guilt, shame and general emotional distress.

A study published in the "Journal of Applied Gerontology" in December 2000 examined the physical and emotional effects of eating alone or with other people, with 63 Swedish women retired. The researchers found that women who cook with and for others were much more likely to see food as a gift, use fresh ingredients and present food in a visually appealing way. The widows who dined alone showed little joy around the preparation of food and feeding. As a result, they also showed an increased risk of poor nutrient intake, a scenario that can put emotional and physical health problems out of oneself.

How to eat well, and only

7 steps to improve well-being

Stock your pantry with healthy staples.Singles often complain that healthy foods "get bad." To remedy this, Sylvia Meléndez-Klinger, registered dietitian and founder of Hispanic Food Communications Inc. suggests stocking up on nutritious foods, such as whole grain pasta, rice, milk powder, beans, nuts and nut butters, with a life useful long.

Buy smaller quantities of fresh foods. "Another key is to buy small packages of food as they remain fresh," Meléndez-Klinger said. Even if the smallest bag of spinach costs more than the fanega, you will probably avoid vegetable remains that are soaked and discolored.

Create a pleasant eating environment. Who said that dinner with candles are only for couples? Arriving from work at a table that you have adorned with a colorful tablecloth, a candle and flowers can make the idea of ​​eating conscious more attractive.

Turn off your cell phone - and your laptop, TV, iPod, and anything else that distracts you. "If you like music, listen to soft, classical music - music without lyrics while dining," said Darcy Lubbers, a certified therapist in family and marriage. If you do, you can improve physical and emotional tranquility.

Invite a friend. "Sharing food is one of the joys of life," said Dina Aronson, a registered dietitian. Cook and eat with another person who is alone, try to prepare food a couple of times a month.

When dining with another person, Lubbers suggests participating in a joint meditation. Dinner in silence, limiting your activities to eating, without speaking. Then, share your experiences. If you do, it can lead to more positive eating habits in the future.

Plan ahead. Prepare a healthy dish once or twice a week to last several meals. Freeze extra portions in single-size containers. Prepare a healthy breakfast or lunch the night before. And do not wait until dinner time to consider what you're going to eat that night.

Video Tutorial: Table for One.

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