Struggling with Night Eating? Have You Tried the TV Diet?

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TV May Play A Role In Overeating or Eating At Night

night-eating-tv-dietHere at Green Mountain at Fox Run, clearly we do not advocate trying diets, in the sense of a diet being a restrictive pattern of eating. However, I will occasionally joke about people going on a TV diet.

When night eating, overeating, or eating when not hungry is a habit, it may be worth looking at the role your TV plays in these patterns.

4 Ways Multitasking May Affect Eating Habits

In teaching about mindful eating, I encourage people to consider how multitasking affects their eating. Sometimes this distracted eating can create problems such as:

1Lack of Enjoyment

Not enjoying what you are eating and wanting more food as a result.

2Eating The Wrong Food

For example, having dry salty crackers, when you really wanted a sweet juicy pear. You may continue to eat, looking for that missing flavor or texture, not because you are still hungry.

3Missed Satiety Cues

Missing the mark when you are full and overeating as a result.

4Task-Associated Eating

Developing an association between the activity and eating, triggering habit-based cravings each time you are engaged in the activity in the future. This is where TV watching and snacking comes in.

When you consider this, it’s easy to see how TV watching can be linked to overeating and/or binge eating.

Go On A TV Diet By Finding Other Activities To Enjoy

Rather than focusing on trying to eat less while watching TV, how about focusing on watching less TV instead?  Going on a TV diet doesn’t mean you need to replace TV-watching with working out, but you may find that without the tube on, you’re more likely to be up and doing other things around the house rather than just sitting.

Read Related Article: Night Eating Turns Habit Eating
You might find yourself playing with the kids or your pets or gardening, for example.  Even if you’re doing something like crocheting or scrapbooking and not moving more, it may be something you never or rarely paired with eating, so you may find cravings decrease.  Certain activities I do I can’t even have food nearby, such as making stained glass or playing the piano, so I’d never associate them with snacking.

Try mixing up your evening activities.  Let us know if less TV makes a difference in how you feed yourself.


Learn More About Our Binge Eating Program

2 Responses (Add Yours)

  • barb says:

    so totally agree. My eating disorder counsellor told me she actually got rid of her tv at one time for a period and it helped her. I tried as well, but now I am binging online on netflix or ted talks

  • Robyn Priebe says:

    Barb, I can see how any screen time could be a trigger, whether it is cable or streaming video. We may not need to cancel the cable, but less time spent in front of the tube, no matter what we watch is probably most helpful.

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