Late night TV made me fat

One of the first things I do with new clients is make them keep a food log.

Nothing fancy…just a little spiral notebook that they keep in their pocket and use to record:

  • What food they ate
  • How much they ate (approximate – no weights/calories)
  • When they ate it
  • What they were doing while eating
  • How it made them feel (physically, mentally, emotionally)

Most of them don’t want to do it and none of them are perfect with their note taking…and that’s fine.

Because my goal with the food log is to look for trends. Trends showing me why they have gained 40 lbs over the past decade.

And one of those big trends is tv.

  • Eating in front of the tv
  • Eating crappy food while watching tv
  • Eating unconsciously (hand to mouth) while watching tv
  • Being manipulated by the food commercials shown on tv

And there is something special about late night tv for really packing on the pounds.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that you are exhausted/sleepy while watching Letterman that results in an even stronger obesity response, but as soon as a client cuts out late night tv, we see an immediate reduction in body-fat.

Every single time. Try it for a week and tell me how it works for you.

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  1. I was thinking the other day whether brain rewards tend to be stronger in combinations. So cigarette smoking and drinking beer. And in this case watching TV and eating junk food. I wonder if each tends to fulfill a different requirement or reward centre in your brain and so together are much stronger. Just a thought?

  2. Hi Doug,
    I just started keeping a food log like you advised, it’s definitely made me more conscious of what i eat knowing i have to write it down. I haven’t gotten around to the ‘feelings’ column but it’s a work in progress. You were so awesome when we met by the way. Thank you!!

  3. Sooooo true. TV commercials in general are always a trigger for me. There were tuneful the past when a late night food ad was so enticing for me that I went out in the middle of the night to buy what I saw. Then I’d bring it hone, realize I don’t want it that much, but eat it anyway because now it’s there. I switched to DVDs & anything without commercials, and I spend 1/10 of the time used to in front of the TV. Food journals are genius too- my emotions while eating column always said “bored,” or “stressed,” 2 things which are remedied by exercise

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