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The Healthy Programmer by Joe Kutner

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Eating Your Brains Out

Here’s an activity you can try at home or in your office. Buy a food item you consider to be a dessert, like a candy bar or a cookie. Put the food right behind your keyboard while you work (if you haven’t eaten it yet). Now try to get something important done. There’s a good chance you’ll be distracted.

Don’t feel bad. You are wired to behave this way. It’s called attentional bias, and many studies have shown that this mechanism allows food to distract us from other “neutral stimulus” activities.[50][51] It affects all people, regardless of their weight.

If you are able to overcome those first bouts of desire, you might find that it gets easier. That’s because you are probably busy writing code, which activates the ...

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