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How to Lose Weight Watching TV

How to Lose Weight Watching TV

We are fast becoming a society of statues. A curious species who seem to have our collective asses permanently attached to a chair. Or preferably, a couch. We discovered that within a few years many of us will have identical movement patterns and daily activity levels to that of the oak tree. Yep, it appears that many of us have become fat (seated) spectators in the game of life. Heavy sigh.

Fat sigh.

Moving towards a Solution

    So as I’m an Exercise Scientist and Personal Development Bloke, I thought it might be timely and appropriate for me to throw out one simple suggestion which might be a practical and realistic strategy to offset a little of that collective inactivity. A simple way to burn a bunch more calories, lose some weight and fat, improve our health, increase our fitness and get us in a better place emotionally and psychologically without even having to leave our lounge room (although we could do it anywhere). No use talking about problems unless we’re serious about finding a solution. Otherwise we’re just complaining.

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    Keeping it Simple

    Note that what I am about to outline is not a global answer to obesity (of course) or a one-program-fits-all solution for the fat asses of the world. No, it’s my way of showing how simple and effective exercising for weight-loss can be when we find a way, rather than find an excuse. While the moaning masses might be problem-focused, you and I are gonna be solution-focused. So there.

    The following example is exactly that; an example of how practical and uncomplicated we can make the process of increasing our daily energy expenditure.

    Some Interesting Facts:

    1. The average person watches about three hours of television per day – mostly in the evening. These figures are similar in the U.K. (according to the research I have).

    2. Every hour of commercial prime-time television is programmed with about fifteen minutes of advertisements. Forty five minutes of show, fifteen minutes of ads – with the ads typically being broken up into five three(ish) minutes blocks.

    3.
    An individual who regularly watches TV from 7.30pm – 10.30pm (for example) will be subjected to approximately forty five minutes of mind-numbing, ass-expanding ads every night.

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    The Suggestion

    Use those three minute blocks to change your body and life.

    A Question

      What would happen over the course of a year if our average TV watcher got off the couch and did some simple, easy-to-do step-ups (stepping up and down on a box, step, platform) every time the ads were on? The answer is quite staggering.

      Some Hypotheticals

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      The following hypothetical scenarios are based on the assumption that the only change in the subject’s lifestyle (diet, incidental and occupational activity) is the inclusion of the fifteen three-minute bouts of stepping. The step height would be either eight or twelve inches (20 or 30cm). The estimated annual weight loss was calculated by dividing the total calories expended for the year (via stepping) by 3,500. See my recent article for clarification on the significance of the 3,500 figure.

      Example 1.

      Weight of subject: 150 lbs (68 kgs)

      Daily stepping commitment: 15 x 3 mins
      Additional energy expended per day (8 inch box): 460 cals
      Additional energy expended per day (12 inch box): 552 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (8 inch box): 167,900 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (12 inch box): 201,480 cals

      Potential weight loss for the year (8 inch box):
      48 lbs (21.8 kgs)
      Potential weight loss for the year (12 inch box): 57.6 lbs (26.1 kgs)

      Example 2.

      Weight of subject: 200 lbs (90.7 kgs)

      Daily stepping commitment: 15 x 3 mins
      Additional energy expended per day (8 inch box): 614 cals
      Additional energy expended per day (12 inch box): 737 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (8 inch box): 224,110 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (12 inch box): 269,005 cals

      Potential weight loss for the year (8 inch box):
      64 lbs (29 kgs)
      Potential weight loss for the year (12 inch box):
      76.9 lbs (34.9 kgs)

      Example 3.

      Weight of subject: 250 lbs (113.4 kgs)

      Daily stepping commitment: 15 x 3 mins
      Additional energy expended per day (8 inch box): 767 cals
      Additional energy expended per day (12 inch box): 921 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (8 inch box): 279,995 cals
      Additional energy expended per year (12 inch box): 336,165 cals

      Potential weight loss for the year (8 inch box):
      80 lbs (36.3 kgs)
      Potential weight loss for the year (12 inch box):
      96 lbs (43.5 kgs)

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      Wow!

      Freaky huh? Now, of course I’m not suggesting that we would, should or could (well, I guess we could if we really wanted to) step for forty five minutes every day for the next year, but what I am suggesting is that when we remove the emotion and the bullshit excuses, increasing our daily energy expenditure (thereby losing weight and fat) really ain’t that complex. Unless of course we find a way to make it so. And no, what I’ve written above is not (in any way) intended to be a personal exercise prescription for any individual.

      Who said disclaimer?

      Some Final Thoughts

        Naturally the heavier you are the more energy you will expend (cals you will burn) per unit of time, so simply adjust the numbers up or down by using the above weights and figures as a guide. Of course you could replace the step-ups with a number of alternatives and use your three minute intervals any way you choose. Activities such as stair walking, skipping, treadmill and stationary bike could all be viable options. There are a few other variables which will have some impact on precisely on how much energy you expend over your three minutes (like technique and intensity) but overall, the above figures will give you a good idea of what’s possible.
        I chose the old-fashioned step-up because it’s cost effective, practical, convenient, requires no equipment (okay a box), no skill and is suitable for most fitness levels. It’s also pretty handy at targeting the ass, hips and legs – per chance you should know somebody whose lower body is in need of some attention!

        More by this author

        Craig Harper

        Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

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        Last Updated on January 21, 2020

        The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

        The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

        Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

        your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

          Why You Need a Vision

          Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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          How to Create Your Life Vision

          Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

          What Do You Want?

          The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

          It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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          Some tips to guide you:

          • Remember to ask why you want certain things
          • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
          • Give yourself permission to dream.
          • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
          • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

          Some questions to start your exploration:

          • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
          • What would you like to have more of in your life?
          • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
          • What are your secret passions and dreams?
          • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
          • What do you want your relationships to be like?
          • What qualities would you like to develop?
          • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
          • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
          • What would you most like to accomplish?
          • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

          It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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          What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

          Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

          A few prompts to get you started:

          • What will you have accomplished already?
          • How will you feel about yourself?
          • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
          • What does your ideal day look like?
          • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
          • What would you be doing?
          • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
          • How are you dressed?
          • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
          • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
          • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

          It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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          Plan Backwards

          It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

          • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
          • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
          • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
          • What important actions would you have had to take?
          • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
          • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
          • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
          • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
          • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

          Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

          It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

          Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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