Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Are you a couch potato?
When TV viewing replaced our entertainment options, it did not only revolutionise our free time activities, but also modified our eating habits to a large extent. Family meals started moving around our favourite soaps. Playtime got reduced by cartoons. Holiday treks were replaced by movies and popcorn. Research has linked excessive TV viewing to obesity especially in children. The proverbial "couch potato" image is scientifically true.Research also suggests that we tend to eat more food and remember less about what we ate when we are busy watching TV.
So how does one get out of this habit? Ideally switch off the TV, computer etc. and concentrate on just food while eating.
"Hey, I'm supposed to have small regular meals, you cant seriously mean that I switch off the TV every single time I eat?? What about the evening snack time?"
True, TV viewing is such an integral part of our life, we cant just shun it. However, indulging in visual gluttony IS unhealthy. To begin with one may start with the below suggestions that make for a healthier TV viewing:
1. Dance when you are "watching" a song. Its fun!
2. Be active- Do stretching or holding exercises during breaks
3. Shift the TV in your gym- Walk on the treadmill, work on the cycler or do your weights without missing out the new series
4. Don’t watch repeats. Are you really that bored?
5. Choose healthy snacks -drink lemonade or ginger ale instead of a cola/beer when you are watching a movie. I find it easier to chomp on fruits instead of popcorn. No putting bags in microwave/pressure cooker; just wash an apple/pear/grapes/strawberries/ cherries/jamun and eat them like that. They are packed with fibre and antioxidants too! Perfect for weight watchers.
6. Keep your hands busy- Do your nails (cut them, file them, paint them), chop/clean/peel veggies. this'll prevent you from snacking. You can just sit holding hands with your spouse too! Even she/ he needs to watch her/his waistline, plus it is more romantic this way.
7. To skip watching TV altogether - unwind by indulging in your hobby- painting, dancing, sports, reading, listening to music etc.
Hope this helps.Watch this space for more tips on how to eat healthy and be fit.
As always, I look forward to your queries and comments.