Healthy Habits Snacks TV

TV and Snacking

I shared this post originally on my friend, Brad’s, blog, but I think it’s worth sharing again here.  I have to know if I’m the only one who feels this way or not. 

I was writing in my food journal moments ago, and I saw an advertisement for my favorite TV show, White Collar, which airs tonight on USA.  And immediately I wrote, “I want to be sure to save calories for that!” And now I’m wondering why on earth that came to mind immediately.  It’s embarrassing to admit that I’ve come this far and still think of snack foods as a companion to a TV show.  I don’t watch a lot of TV (which is probably a good thing since it seems that I require a snack!) But this pattern of desiring food while watching TV is not new, and I’ve talked about it on my blog many times.

During the late seasons of Gilmore Girls then 24 (yes, there’s always one show that’s my favorite) I remember ordering Chinese food and grabbing a coke or Dr. Pepper because the show just wasn’t as good without Chinese food.  And Chinese food wasn’t as good without a soft drink.  It is no exaggeration to say that I often wondered how anyone could eat Chinese food without drinking a soda.  It just seemed wrong!

Now I know that I can enjoy Chinese food without sodas.  The idea that I couldn’t before seems ridiculous, and it makes me feel as though I’ve come a long, long way.  That being said, how is it possible that my first thought when I think of watching a TV show or a movie is that I need to save calories for a snack?!

I can pat myself of the back for the forward thinking, but really Kenz?! How is it that you’re still unable to separate TV and food?  It bothers me that my mind immediately went to popcorn when I thought of Neal Cafferey (my favorite TV character of all time!)  And I’m not sure if I’m okay with it or not.

I’m glad I thought ahead.  I’m also secure in the fact that I won’t overeat just because the show is on.  But I’m disappointed that my mind still so closely relates TV and food.  Is it okay that a TV show makes me want to snack as long as I have the calories to snack?  I don’t think so, but I also don’t think it’s a reason to beat myself up.

My goal is simply to remind myself that I can enjoy a TV show without a bowl or popcorn or cereal or rice cakes until it’s as silly to me as the idea that I need Chinese food with soda to be fulfilled on a Tuesday.

It’s not easy to admit that these thoughts still fill my mind, but it’s important to admit if I want to change.  And I do want to change…so there it is.

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  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    I can't watch a football game without food…so I understand 🙂

  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Hi, Kenz! I have the same issue–it's hard sometimes! I try to remind myself that it's beyond habit–we've conditioned our brains to link food and TV by always snacking in the same place. I have tried to break that mental programming by snacking at the dinner table, instead of in front of the TV (and doing all my eating at the table). good post!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I feel the same way! Sometimes, I'd think that in order to watch ANYTHING, I'd have to eat food. Ludicrous assumption. haha

    Right now, I'm watching "Heavy" on A&, and I'm drinking a green tea. No sugar, no honey. And I'm fine. Everything is all good :).

  • Reply
    Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit
    February 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I've gotten to the point where I can't just sit around and enjoy a TV show without doing something else at the same time… blogging, exercising, answering emails. Just feels like too big of a waste of time.

  • Reply
    Need to Get ME Back
    February 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    It's probabaly because for the good shows that you love, you treat them like an event. That's what I do anyway… I'm like, "Oh its Greys Anatomy night!" And with any fun event, there's food. It's good that you recognize it and can either talk yourself out of it or save calories for it.

  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! The easiest way to not eat while watching tv is to get my knit keeps my hands busy..but I still have the thoughts!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Tv=relax, food= relax. I get it. Can you build a new association? Tv + hot green tea, for example. Relaxing!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    I totally agree. I have always been the type that sees a good night of TV ahead and immediately thinks with glee "oooh what am I going to eat?" If I got rid of my tv, I would probably eat half as much. I've actually started eating supper at 7 pm so that i'm actually eating supper with my shows as opposed to a big bag of chips after already eating supper. I need a hobby!!! Like crochet or something!

  • Reply
    KCLAnderson (Karen)
    February 8, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Well, you're certainly not the only person on earth who associates watching TV (or a movie) with food…but I get that you want to change this habit and if past desires to change things is any indication, you'll change this one too! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I actually use TV to substitute for eating sometimes. If I am bored hungry, etc then I can pop in a movie or watch some TV to distract myself. But I used to associate movies and snacking. I'm still working on that one.

  • Reply
    February 9, 2011 at 1:05 am

    i think like any habit, it is hard to break! we all have our triggers! mine is boredom…so i try hard to keep busy!

  • Reply
    February 9, 2011 at 1:16 am

    I can see it from both sides. On one hand, is it any different than saving calories for going out to a movie and getting snacks? Not really. But also, I I know for myself I snack while watching TV because I can. I find it's better if I'm watching with my bf because he's not a snacker. Or I try to crochet to keep my hands busy, because sometimes that's really what I'm after!

  • Reply
    Peg C
    February 9, 2011 at 3:19 am

    I've got the same issue with reading. I love to read and snack at the same time. For some reason it just isn't the same without a snack, which is just stupid.

  • Reply
    February 9, 2011 at 7:02 am

    The relationship between eating and tv is a real issue for me to the point I've deliberately not put the tv on so I'll still have a 'good day'. It's not a problem I know how to fix, I love tv and eating in the evening is my real danger zone!

  • Reply
    ♥ Shrinking Kenz ♥
    February 9, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Jessica, for me..Saturdays during football season used to be about UT, giant sandwiches with chips and soda with something for dessert. Now I still enjoy the games, but with a lot less garbage. And I don't feel bloated at the end which is almost as cool as seeing the Longhorns win. =)

  • Reply
    ♥ Shrinking Kenz ♥
    February 9, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Michelle, I knit now so I was making a scarf during Biggest Loser tonight. White Collar, however, gets every ounce of my attention. I love Neal. =)

  • Reply
    February 11, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Luckily I don`t have the habit of snacking in front of the tv (I don`t snack in the cinema either) but I like to drink. And again… luckily I don`t drink fizzy drinks… just herbal tea or sometimes coffee. Lots of it 🙂

    *Greetings from England (I am also on a journey of a lighter me).

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