Is your TV making you fat?

How much time do you spend watching TV? Do you watch for at least two hours a day?

A recent study of more than 68,000 American women over a 6 year period showed that regularly watching just two hours of TV a day increased the risk of developing obesity by 23 per cent and type 2 diabetes by 14 per cent.

Now, it has to be said that merely watching TV cannot make you fat. It's what else you are doing or not doing because you're watching TV that makes the difference.

When you're watching TV you're not pottering around the house tidying up. When you're slumped on your sofa in front of "Desperate Housewives", you're not weeding your garden or going for a walk or a bike ride. When you watch TV you're using up only about 70 calories an hour, while playing with your kids or cooking a meal from scratch uses about four times as much. Just half an hour watching TV instead of being active and you're talking the equivalent of over 38,000 calories or more than 10lbs of fat a year unless you eat less to make up for it.

What's more, TV steals time right from under your nose.

Do you watch TV for two hours a night but say you don't have time to exercise? Do you watch TV and eat ready meals because you think you don't have time to make a healthy dinner? If you are not finding the time to care properly for yourself, yet finding an hour or more for the latest episode of those shows you "just can't miss", then TV is stealing time from you!

And TV encourages poor eating habits. When you view you are fair game for the junk food ads that come on constantly and persuade you that you need something to eat. And lets face it a stick of celery just doesn't fit the bill. So you get out the tortilla chips, popcorn or nuts and mindlessly eat through the whole bag - a recipe for piling on the pounds.

Now, you may see the sense in all this, but still not want to give up your beloved TV. Do you really need to do that to lose weight?

No, not at all!

But you do need to think about what TV is costing you and treat it with caution.

If you limit your viewing to only those shows you really like, (and a maximum of 1 or 2 a day) you'll still have plenty of time for taking care of yourself. Plan your viewing and switch off when your show is over. Deliberately get up and do something else.

To avoid snacking all evening, don't eat in front of the TV at all. But if you really must have a snack, put a small portion in a bowl or on a plate rather than eating from the bag. You're less likely to eat the whole packet empty then!

And if you're really keen to combat TV weight gain, you could try being active while you view. Do your ironing or a few exercises in front of the TV. It will stop you nibbling snacks and use some calories. Maybe it's even time to dust off that exercise bike and retrieve it from the basement or attic. Just think, you could cycle half way round the world while your TV provides all the entertainment you need!

Copyright 2005, Janice Elizabeth Small Janice Elizabeth is a weight loss coach, slimming club owner and author of "The Diet Exit Plan", an 8 week coaching program for natural permanent weight loss. Request her FREE 15 page report "How to lose weight without dieting - 7 secrets the diet industry doesn't want you to know" at http://www.simplyslimming.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=91 TODAY!

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101 Things To Do Instead of TV
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