Take some time to listen to yourself eat —it’s actually good for your health

How do you normally spend mealtimes? Sifting through texts while listening to music? Maybe getting some work done as you hear the click, click, clack of the keyboard? Or are you like many of us who sneak off to Westeros or Stars Hollow to catch up with all our favorite fictional characters on Netflix, HBOGo, and the like? I know most of my meals these days are muted by either the sounds of my very two-year-old toddler, else someone’s trying to have a conversation with me while I politely nod and smile, sneaking glances at my iPhone because bad habits die hard.


Well, some scientists are here to tell you once more: You’re doing it wrong! Instead of filling yourself with noisy distractions at mealtimes, you’d be wise to actually listen to yourself eat. Say what? It’s called the “Crunch Effect” (and no, this is not about one of the best-tasting cereals of all time) and it basically states that paying attention to the sound of yourself eating will often result in ingesting less food overall.

And really, it makes a lot of sense. The more distracted you are at mealtimes, the more likely it is that you’ll end up eating past the point of satiation, which can often result in those unpleasant belly aches and gas pains we often get when scarfing down a whole box of pizza (which is glorious on occasion, but might hurt in the long-run, especially if you’re like me and have some gastrointestinal issues).

The new research on the Crunch Effect was recently published in the journal Food Quality and Preference and is now serving as a reminder that it’s definitely important to pay attention to your body and what it wants.