TV & Lifestyle: Part 1- Commercials & Cravings

This is our TV…

Stuck in the 90’s.  It is the only one in the house and as of 4 days ago, we installed cable for the first time in 3 years.

To quote the guy at Best Buy, “wow, that’s disgusting.”

But, it doesn’t bother us so much (except the size & design).

Last year, we bought a Roku box, connected it to our internet and subscribed to Hulu Plus, Netflix and MLB TV so we could watch our favorite shows, movies and sports.  We watch a bit of TV every day but we try to place it second to reading, evening walks, softball games and dinner with friends.

We are 4 days into our cable subscription and I am already annoyed.  With the exception of a few select shows and channels, the programming is boring, repetitive and mind-numbing.  The guide is slow and the commercials are out of control.  In fact, I’m so irritated with commercials that I already want to cancel our subscription and go back to the Roku.

I always thought it was strange that my Grandma and Aunt muted TV commercials but now that I carefully consider the products that come into my home, I regard most advertisements as junk.  I love funny commercials as much as the next girl and I will always love the Superbowl commercials more than the game so muting isn’t the easiest choice but sometimes it’s necessary.

Have you ever noticed how many food commercials you watch on any given day?  

The shows I watch generally have 2 food commercials per break, that’s at least 6 food commercials in a half hour!   Next time you sit down to watch TV, make a tally every time you see a food commercial. I bet you will be surprised!

What difference does it make?

For me, it makes a huge difference.  A commercial featuring a delicious sundae will catch my eye, put a craving into my head and send me running for the nearest treat shop even when sugar is not a normal part of my diet.

During our time without cable, I can tell you that my cravings significantly decreased.  I went months without even thinking about ice cream or sweet treats. Months.

Do commercials make you buy things you don’t need?

Absolutely.  This is not a blog about budgeting (I am far from capable of giving such advice) but how often do you see an ad for a beauty or cleaning product that you do not need yet buy anyway knowing you could easily make something that is healthier, more natural and serves the same purpose?

In addition to buying things you don’t need, you often buy on false pretenses.  A food advertisement might use buzzwords like “gluten-free,” “sugar-free,” “healthy,” or my favorite, “all-natural” when really there are more than 5 unpronounceable, lab-created ingredients that minimize the fat and calories on the nutrition label.

Don’t be fooled!

Scrutinize food commercials and learn the facts about the product before you rush out to answer a commercial-induced craving.  Mute the commercials for one week and see if it makes any difference.  Your cravings might disappear or at least decline and let’s face it, when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we can use all the help we can get!

Coming up in part 2: things you can do when the TV is off and why the most interesting people I have ever met don’t own a TV.

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