I am working very hard right now to try to eat without distractions and be in the moment and enjoy my meals. So much of my excess weight is a result of mindless eating. Most of that mindless eating has happened while watching television. Over the years I’ve formed a bad habit of getting off work, feeling the need to unwind and choosing to sit down in front of the television and snack. 2 hours later, I’ve wolfed down 300-500 totally unnecessary calories.
There is something missing from my life that compels me to this habit day after day. This is a hard issue to resolve and it is taking some time. While I have been exploring the deeper issues behind this habit, I’ve come up with some tricks that are helping me break away from this habit. I think they will help you too.
Here are 5 tips to help you stop mindless eating while watching television:
1. Eat First.
Eat first . Wait in both activities until you are truly hungry. Then eat first. If you watch tv first you are too tempted to go back to old habits. But if you eat first, it’s done, its out of the way and you’re way less likely to want to eat during your awesome television show.
2. Watch the best television shows.
In my worst days I would watch the Real Housewives of Who Cares What City and eat a few bags of 97% fat free popcorn and spray butter spray all over it. So, I was watching shitty tv and eating shitty food. Why bother? Do you know what that’s saying about you? It’s saying “I’m trying to escape something and so I don’t care what I’m doing”. It’s the same as how an alcoholic will eventually drink mouthwash to get their fix instead of trying to find the best bottle of wine they can afford. Because they don’t care!
So I propose that you find a high quality show to watch purely for entertainment that keeps you riveted. Like, Breaking Bad. Or The Wire. Or Sopranos. Just to name a few oldies but goodies. Also invest in Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Prime so you’re not a slave to schedules and commercials .
Make watching television so good that you won’t want to miss a minute because you’re too busy eating at the same time. Here’s a clue: if you wouldn’t pause it while you go to the bathroom, then it’s not good enough.
3. Eat the best food.
Eat the very best food you can get your hands on. The same principle that applies to the television shows applies for food. If the food and the television are the very best then you won’t want to diminish the experience of either by trying to do them at the same time. So try to always make every meal the highest quality possible so that you will always want to give it proper respect and enjoy the meal.
Heal your relationship with food by making sure you are eating only the best foods.
4. Watch tv in the room furthest away from the kitchen.
You’ve had a great meal. You’re ready to watch a kickass show. Make life easy for yourself – get as far away from the kitchen as physically possible. Don’t test yourself. This is a hard habit to break. It’s already so hard. Don’t make it harder, make it easier. If you go to the back of your house and then you are truly engaged in your program, you will be a lot less tempted to grab a snack.
5. Act like the people on your favorite television show.
Next time you watch one of your favorite shows, look at how they eat. ( With the exception of my favorite: Gilmore Girls. No one eats like those b*ches. jk – Love you Lauren Graham!)
Rarely do you see anyone sitting and watching TV and eating. Why not? Because it’s boring and its boring to watch. Would you watch that show? No! Instead you see them eating at a table engaged in interesting conversation or at a restaurant having a really fantastic meal. So next time you get ready to eat, think about that and aim to be more interesting than the characters on television that you love to watch.
I am far from over this habit but I do know that this is one of the main obstacles still in my way to losing the weight. And I also know that the more I practice the rules above the more successful I become with each passing day. And if I keep practicing them, I know that one day soon this habit will be a thing of the past.
Do you have a habit of snacking and watching television? Have you found some unique ways to overcome it? Share them with us in the comments . The FoodLove Community is all about sharing tips to help us all get a little healthier every day. Join us!