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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 November 19, 2019

        20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

        20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

        Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

        If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

        1. Create a Daily Plan

        Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

        2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

        Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

        3. Use a Calendar

        Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

        I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

        Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

        4. Use an Organizer

        An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

        These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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        5. Know Your Deadlines

        When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

        But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

        6. Learn to Say “No”

        Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

        Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

        7. Target to Be Early

        When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

        For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

        Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

        8. Time Box Your Activities

        This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

        You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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        9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

        Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

        10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

        Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

        You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

        11. Focus

        Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

        Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

        Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

        12. Block out Distractions

        What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

        I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

        When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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        Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

        13. Track Your Time Spent

        When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

        You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

        14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

        You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

        Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

        15. Prioritize

        Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

        Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

        16. Delegate

        If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

        When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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        17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

        For related work, batch them together.

        For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

        1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
        2. coaching
        3. workshop development
        4. business development
        5. administrative

        I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

        18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

        What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

        One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

        While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

        19. Cut off When You Need To

        The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

        Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

        20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

        Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

        More Time Management Techniques

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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