Television Viewing Hours May Determine Weight Loss Success

What's your number?

What’s your number?

Do you know how many hours of television you watch each week?  Many of us underestimate the number of hours we spend sitting on the couch in front of the tv.  And who really keeps track of the number anyway?   Weight loss researchers do, that’s who.  And those scientists have found that people who lose weight and keep it off share certain patterns when it comes to television.

How Does Your Number Measure Up?

Most successful losers watch 10 hours of television per week or less.  That’s according to the National Weight Control Registry, a collection of information about people who have lost a significant amount of weight and have kept the weight off.  Researchers are interested in the habits of successful losers so that they can conduct research to help other dieters lose weight and keep it off.

The average American watches nearly 39 hours of television each week.  Older adults watch the most television averaging 47.5 hours per week and teenagers (12-17 years old) watch the least amount of television, averaging about 24 hours each week. Of course, other forms of sedentary screen behavior was not measured in the Nielson Survey that provided these numbers.

Take The Test, Improve Your Outlook

You might think you know how much television you watch, but chances are good that the number in your head is too low.  Take a week-long test and see how many hours you really watch.  Keep a log and record the amount of time spent in front of your television (or computer).  Then compare your number to the 10-hour number that is shared by successful weight losers.  Is your number too high?

If it is, that doesn’t mean you have to give up television completely.  That plan is unrealistic and likely to backfire.  Instead, commit to taking one television viewing hour each day and doing something active instead.  This is a perfect time of year to get outside and go for a walk.  Visit a farmers market to get fresh food for dinner. Take the kids to the park.  Just enjoy the fresh air away from the couch.

Have you checked out the North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website?  It’s a great source of easy tips for healthy eating, exercise and diet support.  You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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