5 Surprising Ways to Burn Off TV Snacking Calories

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5 Surprising Ways to Burn Off TV Snacking Calories
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5 Surprising Ways to Burn Off TV Snacking Calories

Not only are boring TV shows a snoozefest, they're bad for your health! A new study from Sweden reveals watching dull programming makes us eat more - by a whopping 52 percent! Read on for the surprising details, plus find out more unusual ways tv watching can have gut-busting benefits.

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In the study, 18 female college students underwent three experimental conditions: watching an "engaging" Swedish TV comedy series, watching a "boring" recorded art lecture and reading a text about insects (the control condition). The students had access to high-calorie snacks (M&M's) and low-calorie snacks (grape).

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The study found participants watching highly engaging shows ate 52 percent less food than those watching boring shows and even snacked less than the control group! Researchers suggest that it's not simply TV watching but the type of content we watch that affects our eating habits, and they pinpoint boredom, or lack of engagement, as a major contributing factor.

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The study did recognize that several interesting findings, including the overarching preference for the healthy grapes over the high-calorie M&M's across all conditions, may be due to to the pool of participants consisting of young, educated women with low BMIs who typically exercise restrained eating habits.

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More reason to watch Orange Is the New Black or the World Cup matches over Bob Ross painting, but we'd like to ask: what about TV shows so boring they put you to sleep?

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Getting snack-happy while binge-watching your favorite shows? Discover 5 surprising ways you can burn off those extra calories while watching TV.

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Laughing

A Vanderbilt University study found laughing burns 20 percent more calories when compared to not laughing, and 15 minutes of giggling can burn the amount of calories found in two Hershey's Kisses!

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Watching the Game

Whether on your couch or at the bar, watching a three hour-long football game can burn more than 200 calories - that's just over the calories found in a 12 oz. craft beer! That's great news for World Cup fans!

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Working Out

Work up a sweat while catching up on your favorite shows! Netflix created a fun infographic that shows many calories you can lose by show; burn 117 calories while biking to an episode of New Girl or about 17,500 calories while marathoning Breaking Bad from a treadmill!

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Getting Scared

A University of Westminster study found watching a 90-minute horror film can burn up to 113 calories, the equivalent of a chocolate bar. Next time you're watching The Walking Dead, try keeping your eyes open the entire episode!

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Kissing

This might be a stretch - after all, you're not really watching TV at this point. But, if all that couch cuddling to some romance, just know that kissing burns two to three calories per minute! A ten minute make-out session is the equivalent of a handful of strawberries.

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Not only are boring TV shows a snoozefest, they're bad for your health! A new study reveals watching dull programming makes us eat more - by a whopping 52 percent!

Neuroscientists from Sweden's Uppsala University conducted a recently published study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on how television programming impacted concurrent eating behavior. In the study, 18 students underwent three experimental conditions with access to snacks: watching an "engaging" show (a Swedish TV comedy series), a "boring" show (an art lecture) and reading a text (the control condition - and if you're curious, the text was about insects!).

The researchers found that participants watching the boring show consumed 52 percent more food than those watching the engaging show. Furthermore, participants watching the engaging show ate less than the control reading group. While TV watching affects food consumption, the study finds that the degree of arousal we get from the type of content we watch is a major factor on how much we snack.

Check out the slideshow above to learn more study details, plus learn 5 surprising ways watching your favorite TV shows can burn off those extra snacks. And also check out Shop This Look: The Natural Way to Curb Your Cravings for an awesome snack idea by our friends at StyleList

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