A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Healthy Headlines: Don’t just sit in front of the TV for those fall shows — eat healthy and move around

St. Elizabeth Healthcare

When you think of the fall season, you may think of the beautiful changing leaves or the cool, crisp air. But if you are like thousands of other people, you are thinking “This is Us,”, “Big Bang Theory,” and “Empire.”

As you begin to plan your time sitting in front of the tube watching your favorite TV series and the fall premiere, don’t let your diet suffer.

Rachel Wagner, MS, LD, a licensed dietitian at the St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center, advises when the weather starts to cool and you want to hibernate in front of the TV, you need to stay focused on mindful eating.

She says, “Mindlessly eating usually comes from emotion, not hunger.”

Tips to Eating Healthy During Fall TV

It is easy to add needless calories to your day by turning on the television with a bowl of popcorn and digging in. Rachel has some tips to help keep your diet on track:

▪ Stay hydrated — you may confuse hunger for thirst. Staying hydrated keeps your stomach full and is important in maintaining the function of your heart, brain, and muscles.

▪ Eat before your shows begin — sitting down to watch TV on an empty stomach can lead to overeating. Make sure you take care of your hunger with a healthy meal before you turn the TV on.

▪ Be mindful of what you eat — don’t take an entire bag of chips or a box of crackers to the family room. Take a single serving to the couch to snack.

▪ Sip on tea — hot or cold unsweetened tea can give you big flavor and allow you to satisfy the need to put something in your mouth and move your hands.

▪ Make your snacks healthy — if you need crunch, eat raw vegetables. If you need dip, use fat-free plain yogurt with some powdered ranch dressing mix. If you have an air-fryer or dehydrator, you can crisp up vegetables or fruit.

Tips to Get Yourself Off the Couch

As the weather cools down and you find yourself on the couch more, it is important to plan activity in your day, just like you schedule your DVR. Rachel has some tips to keep you moving and motivated:

▪ Build movement into your day — schedule an activity at least four times a week, just like you schedule your TV time. Make a list of things to do throughout the fall and winter and check off the list as you complete the adventure. There are countless unique museums and many parks in the area.

▪ Walk outside and enjoy the changing foliage — the fall is a perfect time to enjoy the outdoors and watch the leaves change. Take a 30-minute walk to get your body moving.

▪ Get up during commercial breaks — when the commercials come on, get up. Stand up and march in place, walk around the house or do arm raises.

▪ Join a gym — if you have a hard time staying active at home, join a gym or an exercise club. Some health clubs in the region accept classpass.com so you can try out different classes including yoga, rowing or a trampoline exercise class.

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