‘Tips for Losing Weight’ Category

Watch Less Television, Lose More Weight

Is it really true — watching television can make you gain weight (or at least prevent you from losing weight faster)?

Think about about the obesity epidemic; most of the focus in on what people are eating.  The greasy, sugar-laden, empty-nutrition foods that are easily available in grocery stores and fast-food drive-bys.

But here’s a thought —  bad eating choices aren’t the only reason for America’s obesity problem.  After all, a sedentary lifestyle certainly contributes weight gain.  And guess what —  television is one of the biggest factors in that sedentary lifestyle.

TV and Sitting Still

Did you know that Americans average 5 hours watching TV or playing TV video games per day?  Multiply that by the days per year, and you’re looking at at least 1,825 hours with your eyes glued to a screen.   Sure, there are many other sedentary activities, such as web surfing and reading, but time watching the boob tube is second only to sleeping.

Apart from keeping us snuggled into a chair or on the couch, TV also encourages us to eat more. Don’t believe me?  Next time you’re watching your favorite program, watch those commercials and add up how many of them are about food!

And it gets worse.  People tend to eat  while watching their favorite shows. Popcorn, chocolate, chips — all TV-time favorites.

Can it gets worse?  You know the answer is yes.  Television lulls us into a trance of sorts, where munching becomes a subconscious activity.  Tuning into the TV tunes out the body’s signals that tell us when we’re full.

Get Out of Your Chair, Turn Off the TV

You know that exercise of some sort is vital to a healthy body.  “But I have no time to excercise!” you cry.  But do you have time to watch TV?

The hours you spend in front of the television could better be spent in some other occupation.  Walk the dog, play with your kids, practice yoga — anything that gets your body burning more calories that sitting around.

No, you don’t have to ban TV forevermore — it can be beneficial.  There are documentaries, news reports and just plain fun programs.  But what you do need is to radically cut back your in-a-trance TV time routine.

Here’s an idea — watch TV only after you’ve done your exercise for the day.  Another option is to plunk a treadmill in front of the TV.  Yes, exercising on a treadmill can get tedious after a while, but if watching some TV while walking or jogging helps you stay on the treadmill longer — so be it.

Watch Less Television, Lose More Weight

It might sound like I’m making TV into something to be avoided at all costs.  In reality, there’s nothing wrong with watching some TV, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of your weight loss goals.

Cutting back on your TV time, or exercising while you watch television, can lead to a slimmer, trimmer new you!

How to Kick the Vending Machine Habit

You know the feeling.  It’s a couple hours until lunch, and your stomach is rumbling.

You’re craving something, just a little pick-me-up to tide you over until your next meal. There’s a vending machine just down the hall, just calling out to you (and not too subtly, either).  Just deposit some change, and you’ll be rewarded with candy or chips.

But gosh darn it, you’re trying to lose weight!   And there’s not one thing in your particular vending machine that’s less than 200 calories.

The Vending Machine Siren Call

It’s oh-so-hard to stick to your diet when empty calorie snacks are so very easy to get.  As you already know, vending machines are one of the worst culprits; practically everywhere, easy to use, and don’t cost a lot. When you’ve got the roaring munchies, the machines are hard to pass up.

It’s Just Change…Or Is It?

You might not think the machines cost much for the instant gratification they bring.  Or do they?

Let’s say you spend $1.00 on a bag of cookies. Doesn’t seem like much; it’s just spare change rolling around in your purse or pocket. But say you buy that $1 bag every day that you’re at work, 5 days a week, you’ll have spent something like $20 by the end of the month. Multiply that by 12 and it’s in the vicinity of $240 a year.

Add a soda for another dollar and now you’re looking at close to $500 a year.  Spare change indeed!

Healthier Additions to the Machines?

Sure, the  food industry claims it’s adding healthier options to vending machine goodies.  But you know what?  You can find much better choices elsewhere.

And here’s the reality;  even if the vending machine does have healthier choices, the chocolate bars and pastries are still staring you in the face, pleading to be selected.

What’s Better for Your Body?

A piece of fruit such as a pear or apple is the ideal snack to give you something sweet — and healthy, to boot! They’re easy to stuff in your purse and eat on the run.  Not to mention you’ll get the vitamins, fiber and nutrients your body needs.

Want something a bit more filling?  Think about bringing whole wheat crackers, string cheese, unsalted nuts, or hardboiled eggs. However, if it’s your sweet tooth calling out more than your tummy, you can try sucking on a sugar-free mint or chewing some sugar-free gum.

If you mostly buy sodas (even if they are diet), try switching over to bottled water. If that’s a little too much like punishment, think about flavored water or green tea.  While water is best, green tea is better than diet soda.

You Can Kick the Vending Machine Habit!

Yes, you can!  Start by bringing healthier alternatives, and maybe your own bottled water or tea.  Not only is it better for you, but it’s easier on your wallet when all is said and done.

So when the vending machine calls out, you’re less likely to hear it.  And your body will thank you for it!