Eating and TV

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Eating and TV

A study by the US-based National Weight Control Registry looked at the number of hours of television watched each week by people who had successfully lost at least 13 Kg and maintained it for at least a year.

Nearly two-thirds reported that they watched ten or fewer hours of television per week. More than a third of those sampled reported that they watched five or fewer hours per week. The study concluded that, “Individuals who are successful at maintaining weight loss over the long term are likely to spend a relatively minimal amount of time watching TV.”

There are two important reasons why less television watching goes with successful weight loss maintenance. One reason is that television can be distracting.

It makes sense. If a person eats while distracted, he or she is less likely to notice subtle tastes in food. It takes a more intense sweet, sour or salty taste to be noticed by someone who is distracted by television while eating. Mindful eating researchers have long suggested that concentrating on each bite can help a person get more enjoyment, and thus more satisfaction, from less food.

In another study published in the journal Psychological Science, psychologists Reine C. van der Wal and Lotte F. van Dillen wrote, “When people’s attention is burdened by a demanding activity, they will need to consume more of a certain food to obtain an optimal taste experience.” In other words, paying more attention to the television or the computer screen than to your meal can cause overeating.

A second reason is that most people who watch television are also not moving. If a health-conscious person spends less time passively sitting in front of a TV and more time in activities, even relatively low impact activities such as walking, that can add up to better health.

Stated simply, turning off the TV or getting away from the computer screen and investing time to eat mindfully can go a long way toward helping anyone consume less. The Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon is also designed to help people consume less food without being hungry.

Author: Rebeca Espinoza

Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at rebeca@spatzmedical.com.

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