Weight loss is a lot of work — hard work. If you’re going to embark on the adventure of losing weight, you want to use strategies that you know for sure will bring you to success. Research has proven that one of those weight loss strategies is to watch less TV.
I’m a member of the National Weight Control Registry, which is a group of people who have successfully maintained their weight loss for a long period of time. To join the registry, you have to have lost at least thirty pounds and kept it off for a year or more. Many of us in the group have done that for an even longer period of time, and have lost even more significant amounts of weight. I’ve lost one hundred pounds and have been keeping that off for the last ten years.
In last week’s post we talked about how NWCR members Make the Unknown Known by keeping a food log. We learned that members of the registry found success when they were mindful of what they were eating by writing it down in some way.
Here’s a post I wrote about a typical day maintaining a 100 lb weight loss.
Members of the National Weight Control Registry report that they typically watch 10 hours of TV per week. The average American watches 28 hours of TV per week. That’s a significant difference!
Believe it or not, reducing your TV watching by just a few hours per week makes a difference in your weight over time. There are a couple different reasons why this is true.
When you’re watching TV, you simply are not moving much. Daily living activity adds up. I learned the value of this when I started wearing a fitness tracker, such as the Fitbit. Fitbit makes activity tracking easy and automatic.
The second thing with TV viewing is snacking. When I’m watching TV, the truth is that I like to snack, so if I’m watching less TV, there’s a good chance I’m snacking less too. It’s true that the snacking while watching TV habit can be broken, but it’s not easy.
The third factor that I’ve found to be true in my life, is that when I was overweight I did a lot of my TV watching either in the afternoons when my kids were napping or in the evenings. I would stay up late at watching TV eating and not sleeping. Now that I’m thinner, in the evenings I got a bed so that I can get up early and exercise, and in the afternoons often I catch a quick nap.
My whole day has shifted to be earlier in the morning. I get out and exercise early in the morning, I’m ready to go and have energy for the day. The way that I live my life has really changed and priorities have shifted to healthier ones. I still watch TV and enjoy it, but it’s less important to me.
I encourage you to plan ahead for shows you really like and keep those in your schedule, but try cutting out mindless TV viewing and focus on a different activity you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be fitness related.
How much TV do you watch currently? What small changes could you make to watch less TV this week?