Why We Overeat While Watching TV

Do you ever eat dinner with a fork in a single hand and the TV
distant within the different?

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For many individuals, the popular strategy to unwind after a protracted
day is by plopping down on the sofa, kicking up their toes and vegging out in
entrance of the TV.

Unfortunately, this behavior has the potential to result in overeating and, ultimately, weight achieve.

“It’s fine to sometimes have a snack in front of the TV, but when it becomes a repeated pattern, or when eating and watching TV become cognitively linked, then it becomes an unhealthy pattern,” explains psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD.

Food plus TV equals distracted consuming

If you’re consuming in entrance of the TV (or pc, or smartphone, for that matter), chances are high you’re paying extra consideration to what’s taking place on the display than to the spaghetti you’re placing into your mouth.

“We tend to eat more mindlessly in front of the TV,” Dr. Albers explains. “We also don’t taste and experience the food as much because we’re distracted.”

This not solely makes meals much less satisfying, nevertheless it makes it
simpler to overlook cues that you just’ve eaten sufficient, like seeing how a lot is gone from
the plate or feeling that your abdomen is getting full.

Research backs up this concept, too. Studies present that we are likely to eat extra after we’re distracted — each within the second of distraction and in a while within the day.

“I believe consuming whereas watching TV additionally prolongs the time
interval that we’re consuming,” Dr. Albers provides. “If your present is an hour lengthy, you
may proceed to eat all through that point interval.”

Breaking the behavior

If you’re prepared to begin consuming extra mindfully, begin with
these tips from Dr. Albers:

  1. Disconnect the 2 behaviors. “It’s fine to have a snack while watching TV, but take a break and move over to the table to have your snack, and then come back to the TV,” she suggests. Research exhibits that giving your meals the eye it deserves might cut back the quantity you eat, plus lower down on starvation and snacking later.
  2. Choose properly. If you’re hankering for one thing within the night hours, select a snack that’s not sugary or caffeinated. Complex carbohydrates comparable to whole-grain breads, cereals or crackers might assist promote sleep.
  3. Set limits. It may be useful to suppose forward and set limits — each by way of your snacking and your TV watching. Commit to consuming only one cup of popcorn (as a substitute of the entire bag) and to solely watching two episodes of your present (as a substitute of all the new season). If you’re watching TV within the night hours, this could additionally forestall a Netflix binge from chopping into your sleep time. Missing even one or two hours of sleep might throw off your urge for food hormones the following day, Dr. Albers says, which might set you up for cravings for sugary and salty meals and overeating.
  4. Give your arms one thing to do. Besides snacking, that’s. Find an exercise that may hold your arms busy whilst you’re watching TV, like knitting, coloring, portray your nails, squeezing a stress ball or doing a sudoku puzzle.
  5. Invite a pal. “Sometimes watching TV with other people can be helpful, because we role model our behavior with them,” Dr. Albers says. “We tend to not mindlessly eat as much when we’re with someone else.”

Sleep, stress and a complete number of feelings may contribute to overeating, so when you’re having a tough time reigning in your TV-snacking, take into account whether or not there is perhaps different elements at play.

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