Binge-watching is great and it feels like television is really hitting its stride in terms of providing quality programming for everyone. What’s interesting is that since on-demand television became widely available, binge-watching changed from a habit to a full-blown hobby.
But maybe that’s not healthy. We mean, of course it’s not healthy to sit in one place for 12 hours watching episode after episode but maybe our obsession with TV is causing long-lasting psychological effects.
Diet-watching is a new trend that applies the laws of diminishing returns: too much of a good thing makes it less of a good thing.
Taking inspiration from the 5:2 diet where you partake in calorie restriction for two non-consecutive days a week and unconstrained eating the other five days, diet-watching makes TV fans not only fast, but give up TV for two days a week.
As Stuart Heritage from The Guardian notes on the regular 5:2 diet, “It turns normal people into mad-eyed evangelists, compelled to boast about how amazing they feel and how thin they are now. If the formula works for food, why not for television?”
It’s a good point.
So the question is, especially if your night’s revolve around what shows you’re shoulders-deep into, what do you do with the 15 hours of free time a week?
“It turns out evenings are unbearably long if there isn’t a flashing box tap-dancing for your attention”, Stuart notes.
What also happens with diet-watching is that you’re forced to make far more sacrifices with what you watch. FOMO has you watching shows you’re not even remotely interested in just to be in on the conversation. Now imagine this situation when you actually don’t have the time to watch everything.
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It’s a hard balance to get but here’s how to successfully diet-watch.
You need to pick two days a week and stick to them. You can’t base this on any TV schedules or when the office have their most spoiler-filled TV discussions. Just pick two days and dig yourself in.
Actively decide not to watch TV, don’t just avoid it. So don’t avoid your living room just because there’s a TV in there. It’s like not eating anything when you’re dieting.
Don’t find a substitution distraction, use this time to do something productive. Diet-watching and watching eight hours of Youtube videos a week isn’t the point.