Most of us inherently know that people who watch a lot of television are more likely to be overweight, but how bad is it? Well according to Brian Wansink in Mindless Overeating, watching television is considered a “triple threat.”

Aside from leading you to eat, it leads you to not pay attention to how much you eat and it leads you to eat for too long. It’s a scripted, conditioned ritual – we turn on the TV, we sit down in our favorite spot, we salivate and we go for a snack. Eating or drinking gives us something to do with our hands and it occupies us while we focus on the plot of our television show…and because our stomachs can’t count, the more we focus on what we’re watching, the more we end up forgetting how much we’ve eaten.

Bottom line? TV makes you fat. But just about any distraction can lead you to eat more, whether it’s a newspaper or a cheap romance novel or listening to your favorite radio program – all can add to the “mindless factor” when it comes to food.

Multitasking is another surefire way to add on the weight. Whether talking on the phone or driving a car, your focus is split and your awareness wanes. This includes working at your computer as well. So think twice before eating at your desk during lunch hour.

It’s some simple (and pleasant) rules to integrate into your life that can make some major differences: Sit and eat your meal undistracted. Turn off your cell phone for a little bit; turn off the radio or the TV buzzing in the background. Eat and enjoy your meal with your focus primarily on it and not the busy world around you. You digest your food better, eat less and ultimately feel more relaxed and satisfied.