This Is Your Body on a Binge Watch

2 minute read

It’s fall, which means it’s time to dive back into all of your favorite shows (or, for many of us, mainlining what we missed this summer.) Almost 70 percent of U.S. TV watchers are binge viewers, according to the accounting firm Deloitte. But all that couch time could be seriously harming our health. A new study in Diabetologica found that for every extra hour of TV we watch a day, our risk of diabetes goes up by 3.4 percent. Still want to get your fill of Scandal? Here’s how to avoid the worst body bummers while on a binge.

Your metabolism slows

The fix: Hit the gym before you hit the couch. It will ramp up your body’s fat burning and keep you going during a TV marathon. It’s especially good to lift weights: One study found that women who did just 15 minutes of strength training torched around 100 calories the next day.

You mindlessly snack

The fix: Stock up on healthy bites like air-popped popcorn, steamed edamame, or almonds. Measure out a proper portion instead of munching straight from the bag.

You skimp on sleep

The fix: Give yourself a strict bedtime. Make sure you factor in at least an hour away from the alluring glow of the TV or computer to properly wind down before bed—the blue light from the screens interferes with the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you snooze.

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