One of my best clients grew up watching a lot of TV. In fact, he feels that he was practically raised by Cliff Huxtable (of the Cosby Show) and Meredith Baxter-Birney (from Family Ties). That’s how much TV he watched.

He finished college and started a real job. But he still rounded out his day with a nightly television marathon. So we shouldn’t be surprised that he “beefed up” to over 200 pounds. (He’s 5’10”.) Especially when we look at the results of a recent Australian study.

The researchers examined the connections between watching TV, eating, and exercising in young adults (aged 26-36). They found that the young woman who watched more than three hours per day of TV had a higher prevalence of severe abdominal obesity when compared to the women who watched less than one hour of TV. For the men, only moderate abdominal obesity was associated with watching more than three hours of TV per day. Not severe – but still worse than the men who watched less than an hour per day.

The researchers also found that taking into account the daily physical activity levels of these men and women did not entirely explain the differences. What seemed to be more relevant was that the men and women who watched more TV also tended to consume more food and drinks.

Once my client eliminated sodas and foods from a bag or a box, he immediately started to lose weight. And fast. Plus, by adding three short strength-training and interval-training workouts per week, he got down well below his college weight, and is now as fit as he was more than 10 years ago.

The message for you? The same things we’ve been saying in ETR for years. Shut off the TV. Dump the soda. Eat fresh veggies and grass-fed meats instead of carbs. And get moving.

[Ed. Note: That TV contributes to weight gain should be no big shock. But you may be surprised to learn that you don’t need hours in the gym to slim down.  ]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com