Thursday, June 03, 2010

ONE action to lose weight works very well in TWO ways....

Today's Post: Thursday, 6-3-2010

What is this magic action?

A. Watch less TV than the average American. Most Americans watch 21 to 35 hours a week of TV. Cut your TV watching back to closer to 7 to 14 hours a week or even less.

Why does it work two ways to help you lose weight and excess fat?

1. Watching TV burns less calories than sleeping.

Even reading a book; or talking to someone while sitting; or surfing the internet -- burns more calories than watching TV!

So the more you watch the fatter you’ll be. Is this guesswork.? No. The more TV you watch, the fatter you will be according to actual studies.

And, if you watch hours less TV each week, you can use some of the newly available time to do the regular exercise you haven’t had time for.

Of course there is the other thing that happens to people who watch a lot of TV that also helps explain this effect.:

2. A very large percentage of TV ads are for treats, snacks, and soft drinks or for fast food places that serve them. As far as keeping trim and healthy is concerned, a better place for this stuff is in the trash bin.

Even if you don’t buy the advertised products, you will get the impression that normal people eat and drink this stuff and wind up buying more. And, you will know people who do & also think it normal because THEY saw it on TV.

What are these foods and drinks made out of?

Excessive sugars and high fructose corn syrup, refined grains, excessive amounts of salt, MSG & related compounds that also make you hungrier, cheap oils high in omega 6 -- or worse the same oils hydrogenated, and chemicals such as preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners.

Some sugar is OK since it makes food taste good; but a bit a few times a month is safe. A lot of sugar several times a day is NOT safe and will make and keep you fat.

A bit of salt on a few foods each week is OK. (1500 milligrams of sodium a day is what that averages.) But the five times or much or more that many people eat is not.

But that’s exactly what you find advertised on TV. Why? They can make it taste good and get it into attractive packages so cheaply they make a lot of money selling it. To be fair, many of the people in those companies still don’t know what they sell is as bad for you as smoking. They think these things are harmless and normal too. The problem is they are NOT.

How excessively bad is this?

Tuesday, 6-1 and yesterday, Weds, 6-2, a story broke online reporting a study showing the reality is even WORSE than this sounds!

As they often do, HealthDay News had it early and abstracted the essential facts about the study well.

The titled their story, “TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets”

It ran on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.

I abstract their report below.

“If you let TV ads determine what you eat, you'll end up with huge amounts of fat and sugar but….few vegetables and fruits in your diet.”

A new study analyzed what would happen if you ate 2,000 calories of foods that are advertised on TV.

(That’s fewer calories of this stuff than the average TV watching American eats and drinks each day; but it’s enough to keep almost anyone from not getting enough calories in their day. Few people will starve on 2,000 calories a day.)

“Researchers found that such a diet would include 25 times the recommended servings of sugar and 20 times the recommended servings of fat in a daily diet. But it would include less than half the recommended servings of vegetables, fruit and dairy products.”

"The results of this study” (found that) “the foods advertised on television….oversupply nutrients associated with chronic illness -- e.g., saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium -- and undersupply nutrients that help protect against illness -- e.g., fiber, Vitamins A, E and D, calcium and potassium," lead investigator Michael Mink, an assistant professor at Armstrong Atlantic State University, said in a news release.”

“The findings appear in the June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.”

Excessive sugar and large amounts of refined grain foods are just as illness producing and are very fattening. How much too much did they say? Twenty five times!

Worse, the high omega 6 oils these foods contain in the 20 times too much fat are very inflammation provoking and help cause heart disease and asthma and very likely help cause depression and may help cause some cancers.

So, there is a corollary. In addition to watching less TV so you see less of these ads, if you see a food or drink advertised on TV, that appearance in a TV ad suggests the advertised item will make you fat and sick if you buy it and ingest it.

Seriously consider taking a pass on all such items. Check out the ingredients. If you see the stuff we’ve listed above as ingredients, put it back on the shelf and try to find some real food instead.

And, if you want treats, wait until you have time to make it homemade so you can put better quality ingredients in it and you won’t have it nearly as often. Or get real foods such as fresh fruit and nuts that are raw or dry roasted only.

B. How to watch that much less TV?

Here are several ways to watch less TV or watch less of it with these ads.

1. Never watch TV if you are bored and have nothing to do. Call a friend. Get some exercise. Read a book or a magazine or surf online. Cook some real food that you like. Do some housework you can stand to do but don’t get to often enough. Feed or play with or pet your pet if you have one. Read to your kids if they are around.

2. Get your news and weather mostly from more targeted and much faster to access sources. Yahoo News is a great resource. is also. Newspapers not only have faster to access news, each item tends to have more details than TV news has time to show. You can also skim or skip most of the stories. Listen to a news radio station during your commute. KCBS where we live has traffic, news, and weather almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

3. Rate the programs you watch now as high medium or low in importance to you. Then stop watching all of the ones you rated low and some of the ones you rated medium you would be OK not watching.

4. Use the technology available to record the entertainment you want to see during times you have other commitments or want to exercise or have something interesting and more active to do. Then watch some of the ones you then want most to see in the time you have left. You won’t get to them all & will watch less total TV.

5. When watching the recorded shows, skip the ads and mute the ads when you watch live for the most part. The recorded shows will take less time to watch; and you can exercise briefly or do a small chore during each commercial break if you watch live.

6. If a show is fun to watch but does not need your most focused attention, consider seriously doing some kind of exercise while you watch.

Many gyms set up their treadmills and exercise bikes in front of TVs. So, going to the gym while some TV shows you want to watch are on can work. You can get such equipment at home for this kind of TV watching or even do crunches and dumbbell exercises while you watch. You can also do the exercises that demand extra attention or effort during the commercials.

7. If you watch TV every night, try going to the gym on Monday and Wednesday nights or Tuesday and Thursday nights. That way you substitute a near zero calories used activity for one that uses a lot. Record any must see shows from those nights to watch when you are home or can find the time.

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