Weight Loss and TV Connection
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Weight Loss and TV

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Eating while you watch TV is a very quick way of putting on weight because you can easily eat more than you should, plus the kinds of foods that your unconscious mind associates with watching TV are often fat-creating foods. Many people dine in front of the TV at least a few nights a week. This makes it even more important to understand how eating in front of the TV can harm your weight loss plans, if losing weight is your intention.

Associating TV with Food

Your mind works through association. If you do two things together many times they start to feel as if they naturally go together. In fact, doing one without the other starts to feel weird. This is called conditioning. 

Many people are falling victims to the conditioning of eating while they watch TV. Whether it is a snack or a full meal, food and TV seem to be going hand in hand, more and more. The problem is that our brains are pre-occupied with our favorite shows and not paying attention to how much we eat. Very easily, snacks and even meals can become grossly over-proportioned, leading to overeating and weight gain. 

If the TV's On, You’re Not

One of the biggest issues with watching TV and eating is that it usually leads to 'over-fuelling' of the body - lots of calories in, but no energy expenditure. A recent study on children showed that they burned fewer calories while watching TV than when sat staring at a blank wall! If you do choose to eat a snack or your meal in front of the TV always make sure to turn it off at some point and leave yourself time to exercise.

Even if your exercises are done in front of the TV, the best thing you can do for yourself is get up and move around. Consider using your watching time to be a part of your workout routine.  This way, you can still catch all the shows you love, but you will also be able to do your floor work, strength training, running on the spot, or even pilates.

TV Commercials Fuel Poor Food Choices

The absent-mindedness of watching television (or TV trance) allows fat-creating foods to slip in unnoticed, neatly side-stepping any weight loss goals you may have had. For instance, the next time you are watching one of your favorite primetime shows, take a piece of paper and pen and jot down how many commercials you see for restaurants and high-calorie foods. You will be amazed at the number. 

Billions of dollars are spent every year on advertising and commercials for food and they are all geared toward one thing - to make you want to eat. While we watch TV, we are being bombarded with this type of advertising and it not only causes us to crave less healthy foods, it also makes us hungry. This is another reason why people have a tendency to overeat when watching TV and make poor food choices. 

If you’re watching shows that include advertising, do yourself a favor and hit the mute button or use those breaks to get in some quick workout times.  Shows with commercials give you a fantastic opportunity to fit around 8 minutes of exercise into every half hour, without missing a minute of the program you’re enjoying.

What Can You Do to Limit Weight Gain from Watching TV

If you are struggling to lose weight and find yourself eating in front of the TV more nights than not then perhaps it is time to make a change. Turn off the TV, control your portion size or your snack or meal and then sit down at a table or another quiet place to eat. Take time to savor the food and chew lots. Drink plenty of water. When you are done your snack or meal then put it all away and do not leave any more on hand for snacking when the TV goes back on.

Weight loss and TV simply don’t seem to mesh when it comes to eating.  The very nature of television makes you sit mindlessly as you are entertained.  You’re not paying attention to your immediate reality.  You’re focused on the show or movie you’re watching.  Therefore, you can eat a meal without tasting a bite, or eat a much larger snack than you would require to satisfy your hunger.  Once you become aware of this, it is easier to take the steps you need to overcome mindless eating, so you’ll build a stronger relationship with your food and avoid overeating unnecessarily.