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Friday, April 5, 2019

Netflix and Binge: What really happens when you dine with your TV/Netflix -

Do you eat dinner in front of the television? I'm sure plenty of us do it. I am also guessing that those of us who eat in front of the TV on a regular basis are overweight. There are a couple of reasons I say this, but the second reason I believe is the most important. Eating while watching TV is not a good idea.

The first bad reason for eating in front of the TV is simply this. If you are watching TV, you are not watching what you eat. Several studies over the years have proved that most people eat more when watching TV vs. not. In fact, the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation have evidence that even suggests the more entertaining the show, the more you eat! I'm sure many of us could admit to eating a whole bag of cookies while watching a favorite show. Eating while watching TV doesn't necessarily make you fat though. At least not right away. This leads us to the second more important reason why you shouldn't watch TV while eating.

The second reason is it can forge a strong association between TV watching and eating. This is what creates the long term damage, slowly adding those calories up to huge amounts of fat around the waist. It turns TV watching into a bad habit. Watching TV? What's to eat? When I turn the TV on for the kids an almost automatic "I Want A Snack!" comes out of their mouth. It is a very similar problem that ex-smokers have. Many smokers associate going to a bar with smoking. If you are an ex-smoker having a good time at the bar you may have a hard time not smoking. We need to break the association, and eat when we are hungry, not when we watch TV.

On average, you make more than 200 decisions about food each day — but you're only aware of a small fraction of them. The rest are performed by your unconscious mind and can lead to mindless eating, which may cause you to overeat, promoting weight gain.

How to change the habit? You need to decide what is best for you. I know it is an issue for my family, so the main 3 meals for sure have to be at the table with TV off. Giving a child a candy snack in front of a TV is completely pointless. Within 5 minutes they will be asking you for another. Our trick, giving them fruit. If you want to watch TV and eat you can only have fruit or vegetables. Leave the special snacks for the table as well. They will like them more and stop bugging for more. In fact, studies show, they will eat less! 

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