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The Most Popular Show to Binge Eat to


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2015 | POSTED BY DR. GOULD




Zoning out while eating and watching a movie or TV show is referred to as mindless eating. And the problem with mindless eating is it's just that—mindless—meaning your mind is somewhere else, your guard is down, and you're wide open for that handful of popcorn to turn into a bowlful, followed by another bowlful, followed by...

For some people, eating & viewing isn't necessarily a problem; they get a large soda, large popcorn and/or their favorite candy once in a blue moon whenever they go to the movies. Let's call this an indulgence. For others, though, those who have their eating & viewing ritual mapped out, those who are already looking forward to tonight's couch time well before lunchtime, it's anything but an indulgence.

It's the habit we know as emotional eating.

And when you combine emotional eating (distraction #1) with TV or movie viewing (distraction #2) you get a double-whammy of escapism from your problems. Eating pizza while watching TV on a Friday night staves off the pain of loneliness. Binging on ice cream while watching Netflix on Monday night helps you forgot about the day you just had at the job you can't stand. And stuffing down candy while watching your favorite soap distracts you from the unloving partner who'll be coming home in an hour or two.

The problem, of course, is that emotional eating never allows you to actually do anything about your life problems; it just defers them. Kind of like credit card debt: Buy now, pay later. Well, with emotional eating it's: Eat now, pay later.

But why pay later? Especially when the health costs associated with being overweight or obese are so high? Why not address the reasons you're lonely, or are in an unloving relationship, or feel stuck in a job that you hate, today?

I suspect it's because it just seems too hard. Too daunting. Too overwhelming. And so you remain stuck, resigned to the fact that this is the rest of your life.

The reality, of course, is that you are not stuck; you simply don't know how to begin addressing your issues instead of eating them. And that's okay, we all need a helping hand at different stages of our lives. I just hope you'll take the chance to reach out for yours.

ONWARD

The answer to the title of this post—the most popular show to binge eat to—is this: Any show that engrosses you; any show that pulls you to the couch, who's next episode you're already looking forward to before the current one's even finished. That's the one that, for emotional eaters, leaves the door wide open for mindless eating.

Watching entertaining movies and TV shows is great fun. Storytelling has been a part of the human experience since day one and will continue to be. I encourage you, though, to try keeping food and the flat screen in separate rooms. After all, the most important story you can ever watch is your own.

Happy viewing.




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