During my first year of college, I found myself using mealtime as an excuse to watch Netflix. In my busy schedule, it seemed like a good way to kill two birds with one stone (so to speak). 

While this behavior seemed harmless at first, I soon found myself hungry (or at least experiencing cravings) all the time, even only minutes after eating. 

After reading into the benefits of mindful eating, I tried ditching the TV during mealtime and devoting that time solely to fueling my body. I immediately experienced a huge difference in how I felt during and after each meal. 

What felt like only a few quick, mindless bites while Netflix was on felt like a satisfying meal with it off. My brain seemed to better recognize that it had eaten and consequently downplayed the cravings I would normally experience. 

It turns out that mindful eating has many benefits to our physical and mental health. Achieving mindful eating can be as simple as turning off the TV, computer, or phone during times that should be devoted to enjoying a meal. Here's why I chose to turn my devices off. 


When watching TV, our brains are highly distracted and we tend to detach ourselves from reality. It is extremely hard to multitask when watching a show. The action of putting food in your mouth becomes mechanical and your body loses touch with your brain. 

This lack of awareness leads to all kinds of problems. For example, it will become exceedingly more difficult to recognize when you are hungry and when you are full. Your brain literally forgets how to tell. This leads to overeating, often of foods that are not nutritious. 


Studies have shown that watching TV slows down the metabolism. When watching TV, our heart rates slow significantly, we loose awareness of our surroundings, and most of our thought processes shut down. As a result, our metabolism slows down dramatically.

Your metabolism is more efficient without the TV on, even if you are sitting or sleeping. When we are thinking and concentrating, our body is at work burning calories.  

As a result, when watching TV your metabolism does not process food at the rate it normally would when opting to sit down and mindfully consume a meal. 


Doctors believe that enjoying food and watching TV are non-compatible activities. While it may feel relaxing, your brain is really so distracted by what it is seeing on TV that feelings of satisfaction are hindered. 

This lack of satisfaction at mealtime often leads to overeating at other times of the day. For example, if you watch Netflix during lunchtime, your afternoon snacking will likely be much higher than if you had turned of your devices during mealtime. 


Many college students tend to consume Netflix from their computers, and as it turns out, this may be extremely unclean. Studies have shown that computers and laptops are covered with millions of microscopic bacteria and germs that are oftentimes the reason for getting sick. 

If you absolutely must watch Netflix on your device during mealtime, make sure to sanitize it and wash your hands prior to touching your food. 

Even though life can get extremely busy, focusing on eating at mealtime is an important investment of time. Experiencing how food nourishes the body strengthens your relationship with it and leads to a better understanding of what is needed to thrive.