I am currently in a house where lunchtime is also catchup-on-reading-time for the others at the table. Many other Americans use meal time for catching up on email or  playing games.

A recent study shows that when we aren’t paying attention to what we eat, we tend to eat more and even get hungry sooner.  When we are distracted, we can’t remember how much we’ve eaten and memory is tied to satiety.

Researchers found that distracted eaters, who were playing computer solitaire, “felt significantly less full just after lunch. . .  and at the taste-test session a half-hour later, they ate about twice as many cookies as those who had lunch without playing games.”

So, if you want to eat less to cut down on the calories, but hate that hungry feeling, just pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth. Look at it, smell it, taste it, notice the texture, chew slowly and you will find you are satisfied with less. What an easy way to lose some pounds!

Another study has shown that by just leaving 3 bites on the plate, we can cut 1oo calories per day (Eat Your Way to Happiness p. 95, Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD).  If all you do from now on is to start looking at what you are putting into your mouth, you won’t even miss those 3 extra bites. A year later, that will lead to a loss of 14 pounds. Without dieting!