The Science Behind Eating while Standing Up

Hey Angels and Alphas,

In the world of nutrition, we always tend to zero in on what we eat and when we eat, but we rarely pay attention to other important factors such as how we eat. And given the fast-paced life and hectic schedules of today, it can be pretty easy to consume a bowl of cereal while standing at your kitchen counter or just grab a protein bar on the go and munch on it on your way to your next big meeting.

Maybe you’re thinking that you’re burning more calories as opposed to when you’re eating sitting down, but recent research has shown that eating while standing (or moving around) could cause you to eat more later on, leading to overeating.


Jane Ogden, PhD, who is a professor at the University of Surrey, went ahead and conducted two studies on the topic. He tested the impact of eating while standing or sitting on the human body. 

In the first study, participants were asked to eat a cereal bar. One group of the participants was sitting (while watching TV and chatting) and the other was asked to eat the cereal bar standing. 

The result? The people who ate on the go consumed more calories overall throughout the day. Further research that was published in the journal Appetite asked the participants to eat a bowl of pasta while either (1) sitting on a table or (2) standing up. Even though both groups ate the same number of calories on the current meal, the people who stood up while they ate their pasta ate more calories overall for the rest of the day. 


The science was clear: the researchers who lead the study concluded that your hunger may not be completely satiated if you eat on the go exactly because you are less likely to be clearly focused on what you’re eating (and may even forget later than you have eaten.) 

It actually takes about 15-20 minutes to feel satiated once you have started eating, but if you are standing or you’re eating on the go, you are more likely to be distracted and not register the actual feeling of when you are full. 

Not only that, but you are more likely to consider what you ate while standing or walking as a snack rather than a full meal, leading you to overeat later on in the day.


This study goes to show exactly how important mindful eating is. Throughout our busy lives and overwhelming routines, we always turn eating into something we have to do either on the go or without leaving much thought for it and eating while we’re watching Netflix or doing other chores.

But in fact, mindful eating could not only prevent us from overeating, but it can also help us be more appreciative of the meals we’re having. That’s why, when you can, you should focus on incorporating mindful eating into your life so you can avoid the unnecessary overeating. 

This doesn’t mean you have to forget about eating on the go, just make more of an effort to consciously enjoy the food you’re eating. And as with all efforts to pursue proper nutrition, keeping a food journal will go a long way to helping you manage your diet and caloric intake.


Make the effort to pursue mindful eating by making a time and place for you to enjoy your meals with an added awareness. Tell yourself that you’re having either breakfast, lunch, or dinner, rather than a snack every time you’re grabbing an on-the-go snack. Research has backed this up, and probably will in further studies: mindful eating techniques have a massive positive impact on weight loss and should not be ignored.

That’s why you have to set a place at the table and serve food on real dishes, make your meals feel less like snacks, and this will go a long way toward helping you manage your daily caloric intake and keep it in check.

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