We’ve all been there….sitting in front of the TV and we suddenly think how chips or ice-cream would taste so good right now and our favorite program will be better if we are snacking. Forget the fact that we just had dinner 30 minutes ago and we are not hungry. Our mind is saying “TV = EAT”! If you are unhappy with your weight and can relate to this mindless eating situation, read on.
Your goal should be to break this habit, because this is what it has become. When we repeatedly eat for emotional reasons instead of physical, we are on a path to weight gain. Distracted eaters do not pay close attention to food and are not as aware of how much they have eaten. Studies have shown that eating while watching TV causes us to consume up to 25% more calories!
Am I really hungry?
When the urge to splurge hits you, take the time to ask yourself the following BEFORE you give into temptation:
- Am I physically hungry?
- Are the foods I want to splurge on in alignment with my physical and health goals?
- Are emotions leading me to want these foods? If yes, how can I work through these emotions so that I don’t use food to self soothe?
- Am I just dehydrated and need water instead of food?
Practical tips you can start today!
When we give ourselves time to evaluate our physical and psychological needs, we can save ourselves useless, empty calories, leading to a healthier, happier YOU! Now I’m not saying to abandon all food while watching TV but night after night is a no, no. Here are some tips to try that will help you avoid mindless eating:
- Instead of snacking on empty calories, sip on a cup of herbal tea.
- Substitute a couple of cups of light popcorn for calorie packed choices.
- Stop watching so much TV. Get lost in a good book or go for a brisk walk.
- Visit your vision board to remind yourself of the healthy body you are going to achieve.
- Substitute TV for family game night.
Once you have stopped associating food with TV for 21 days, you will have broken this habit. Congrats! In the process, you will likely have lost weight, improved your sleep quality, and definitely gained self- confidence.