I know this is going to sound very Ward and June Cleaver of me, but it is a belief I’ve held dearly for years…and according to a recent study, it looks like I’ve been right all along. The study showed that how you eat may be just as important as what you eat.
Researchers examined the eating habits of 12,000 adults in Ohio. And they found that those who never watch TV during family meals and eat mostly home-cooked food are much less likely to be obese.
It really didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out, but it’s one of those very simple things we tend to forget about that can make a huge difference in your life.
And if you break this simple advice down piece by piece, it makes perfect sense.
It’s natural to eat more food when you’re engrossed in television rather than the food in front of you. According to the study, one-third of adults ate most or all family meals while watching a screen, versus 36 percent who never did. The people in that second category — the ones who never watched screens during meals — had a 37 percent lower risk of being obese than the ones in the first category.
Distracted eating makes it so you don’t truly enjoy each bite. And with your mind occupied by your other senses, you don’t notice when you’ve eaten enough. Removing distractions will help you connect with your meal — which serves the dual purpose of making the meal more satisfying and curbing overeating.
Now for the second part of this study’s conclusion: Eat home-cooked meals. This is another no-brainer. Restaurant meals and take-out are almost always less healthy than those cooked at home.
When you’re choosing your own menu and portions, you’re more likely to avoid the unhealthy ingredients and massive servings that many restaurants have come to embrace. So, again, it makes sense that the study found that adults who cook all their family meals at home are 26 percent less likely to be obese.
Previous studies have scratched the surface of the relationship between eating behaviors and obesity. We’ve known for years that more frequent family meals are tied to less obesity risk. The current study, however, found that the presence of family wasn’t the determining factor.
In fact, the researchers found that the number of meals people enjoyed with family wasn’t linked to obesity risk at all. Which is good news for the growing number of Americans who live alone.
While it’s nice to share meals with family, now you know that you can still have healthier habits even when you’re eating alone. Just kill the screen, and enjoy a home-cooked meal.
I’ve included more than 100 healthy recipes in The A-List Diet book so you’ll always have fresh, enticing ideas on hand. If you haven’t already picked up a copy, order one today by clicking here!
Laura’s diet story
I get questions from patients and readers all the time. And I love hearing from them. But my favorite letters and emails are the success stories. Of course, with every tale of success comes a backstory of a struggle that led them there.
Take my patient Laura, for example. She struggled with depression and anxiety along with metabolic syndrome from being overweight. She was prescribed medications for her mental health, which only made things worse.
I put her on The A-List Diet, focusing particularly on her protein sources and on amino-boosting. Within a few months, she dropped 25 pounds — and before long, she was healthier and happier than she’d been in years.
She wrote, “This is the best I have felt in my entire life! No more belly bloat, diarrhea, or best of all, anxiety. Through working with Dr. Pescatore, I realized that a good deal of it stemmed from the way I was eating. I am off my anti-depressant medications and have lost over 25 pounds.”
It’s success stories like these that make my job so rewarding! If you’d like to share your story with me, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can’t wait to hear from you!
Recipe of the Week
This week’s A-List recipe spotlight is condiments and sauces:
Homemade Aioli (page 265 of The A-List Diet Book)
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup Fish Broth
- 11/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup macadamia nut oil (I may be biased, but my favorite is NuLogic Foods Macadamia Nut Oil! You can find it HERE.)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Combine the garlic, egg yolks, broth, mustard, salt, and cayenne in a blender and puree until combined. While the machine is running, add the oils in a slow, steady stream until thick and emulsified.