We are all guilty to pressing the snooze button one too many times and grabbing something less than nutritious before we dive out the front door. Or there might be days when things just get away from us and we end up working through lunch.
Skipping sit-down meals in favor of grabbing something to eat while we're on the move is more popular than we would like to admit. But, did you know that it might be what is actually contributing to weight-gain?
According to a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology, eating on the run could be over-shadowing all of your hard work in the gym or your healthy eating habits.
Researchers at the University of Surrey found that dieters who ate while walking around or moving were more likely to overdo it during that meal.
More so than people who ate during the activities we typically associate with mindless eating, like watching TV. These eaters were apparently more likely to overeat later in the day too.
"Hunger and fullness are far more than just biological processes, and not only relate to the calories consumed, but also to whether a person is aware of what they are eating," explains Jane Ogden, Ph.D., professor of psychology.
"When we eat mindlessly and are distracted from the food we are eating, our body doesn't get to code the food as having been eaten."
So, why does eating on the move have more of an impact than eating while sitting down?
"I think eating on the go may cause more overeating than watching TV not only because it is a powerful form of distraction but it's also a form of exercise," says Ogden. "People may then overcompensate for this exercise and feel that they are legitimately allowed to eat more."
With busy lives and overwhelming schedules, it can be tough to find the time to schedule a sit-down meal. However, Dr. Ogden explains that healthy habits are easier to implement than we think.
"This doesn't need to take much time," says Ogden, who suggests that even a few moments of sitting down can help your brain to recognise your meal as the real deal.
"Stopping what you are doing and practicing the conscious process of thinking 'now I am having something to eat' should be enough."
Now we are going to go and eat some cake, healthy cake, obviously!