Don’t let TV influence your weight loss

By: Wendy Hearn

How much time do you spend watching TV each day? Many people spend most of their spare time watching TV. If this is you, have you considered what this is doing to your weight loss, fitness and health plans? First, you must realise that TV bombards you with images of food and eating. Have you noticed that you're inclined to pick and nibble at food more frequently while you're watching TV? The images you're receiving, coupled with very clever advertising, entice you to eat more food, even though you may not have been aware of this impact. So, if you reduce the amount of time you watch TV you're likely to reduce the amount of food you're eating. I suggest that these images of food stay in your subconscious much longer than the actual time you spend watching. For example, have you ever seen a particular food, say ice cream and then found you can easily recall the advert for it?

This demonstrates the power of advertising. What would it take for you to reduce the amount of time spent watching TV?

One suggestion I have is before you sit down to watch TV, ask yourself why you're watching this particular programme? Listen to your answer and then decide if watching this is the best use of your time. There are many interesting programmes but there are also things we just watch because we've sat down and don't even consider turning off the TV and doing something else. What TV programmes are you willing to cut out? Watching TV is not always an effective use of your time and besides, the images you're receiving are possibly encouraging you to eat extra food. So, there are many benefits to either cutting down your viewing or even stopping it altogether.

Instead of receiving so many images encouraging you to eat more, you'll free up more time when you reduce your TV viewing. This allows you to devote more time to effectively lose weight, thereby becoming fitter and healthier. One of the overriding reasons I hear from people who want to lose weight is that they don't have enough time to make the commitment. "I don't have time to go to exercise classes" or "Preparing healthier foods takes longer and I just can't fit it in" and "With everything else I have to do, taking time for myself always comes bottom of the list." Most of us seem able to find time to watch TV, yet many of the things which would contribute towards health and weight loss come much lower down our list of priorities. Cutting back on the amount of TV you watch gives you extra time and I encourage you to use this time to progress with your weight loss, health and fitness levels. What would you use this extra time for? It could be exercising, relaxing, writing in your journal, planning your meals or discovering new and healthier eating options.

How would a reduction in TV viewing be of benefit to you? What specific thing are you going to incorporate in your health and weight loss plan, which you previously thought you didn't have enough time for?

Wendy Hearn is the author of "The Top 10 Things That Stop YOU From Losing Weight"

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