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Question of the weekHow long has it been?!? Geesh! I miss the question of the "When ever I have time." ;~)

This one is totally inspired by my new house. I’ve never hid the fact that I’m a night time snacker. While losing weight I’d routinely save up points to enjoy popcorn and ice cream in the evening. I even eat within an hour of going to bed. All this snacking always happened, yup, you guessed it, on the couch in front of the TV.

When we moved from old to new house we saw the evidence of all the snacking. Let’s just say allowing a 4 year old to eat on the couch is not a very good idea. We found entire uneaten granola bars along with M&M’s, goldfish, swedish fish, popcorn and more crumbs then I’d like to mention.

All this led to the husband and I agreeing on a "no eating in the new living room" rule. We’ve always tried that rule in the past but to be honest, I was always the first to break it.

Well no more. I’m done. There will be no eating in this living room. Ever. So far so good. I’m already starting to get used to it. If I want a snack I have to stop what I’m doing and go into the kitchen to eat it. Novel idea, huh?

So I’m curious. Do you have a "No eating in the living room" rule? If not, have you considered it? If so, do you think it helps curb night time calorie consumption?

Just curious as I see this helping me and my nighttime snacking habit immensely.

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  • http://kyratx-afoodiegetsfit.blogspot.com Kyra (@KyraTX)

    Good luck! We have great room attached to kitchen. Even though we have eat in kitchen and a dining room we still eat at the coffee table in front of the TV. Too many years of habit from living in small apartment.

  • reese

    No, never allowed eating in the living room,,I am REALLY picky and do not want any food in or on my furniture :)

  • Carol

    The kids are not allowed to eat anywhere except the kitchen and dining room. The only time we make an exception is when we do a Friday movie night and then we spread a blanket on the floor for them and they have a “picnic”. That blanket is always a mess by the time they are finished!

    I eat sitting on the couch all the time because that’s where my laptop is and I’m usually reading blogs while eating breakfast and lunch.

  • http://shanink.com shannon

    part of living semi-cheap in an apartment AND needing room for my desk and all the office crap i have means no dining room. there’s the living area (tv, couches, etc.), small kitchen, one bathroom, one bedroom and a ‘study’ all for two desks, a tv (for the football watching and fantasy managing online) for the boyfriend and a book shelf. we are forced to eat on the couch and the coffee table basically unless we want to stand. it’ll be something to adjust to in the future when i will have a dining table but for now it’s all about NOT having ANYTHING to snack on. i don’t buy any unnecessary items. so many times now i visit the fridge and the pantry w/out thinking (bored eater) after i’ve been sitting on the couch watching tv, there’s nothing there… :)

  • http://www.slim-shoppin.com Jenn@slim-shoppin

    I should have that rule! It would save me a lot of calories!

    One thing that mostly works is after dinner, and lunches are made for the next day and the dishes are done, I walk out of the kitchen, turn off the light and say to myself “THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED!” I imagine a red rope like at the movie theater across the door so I can’t go in.

    It works most of the time too!

    Good luck on not eating in your new living room!

  • http://www.fatfitnessfood.com/ FatFitnessFood

    This is actually is really good idea. I don’t let my nieces or nephews eat in my living room so why would I myself? I think this might even deter me from snacking altogether some nights.

    I think we might have to instate this new rule at our house too.

  • http://strawgirl--mylifeinablog.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    Yep! We have that rule in our house. I don’t watch TV at night too often (unless it’s football) but we aren’t allowed to eat in the living room. My kitchen is fairly large with our table in it and I routinely set my laptop in there in the evenings to read blogs, do face book or whatever. But I rarely snack at night. That’s never been a probelm for me…luckily.

  • Lisa

    I have always tried to make family meals be eaten in the kitchen, wetherer it is breakfast, lunch or dinner. Now snacking, that is another story. Snacks are allowed but main meals have to be eaten in the kitchen. Sometimes, I use the kitchen as a hide away. I will get myself a bowl of ice cream and not want anyone to know, so I will stay hidden in the kitchen to eat it…..I don’t know if I am being selfish by not wanting to share or litteraly just hiding the fact that I am eating…….

  • http://dianasjourneythroughlife.blogspot.com diana

    Given that it’s just me and the hubby, I’m embarassed but ok to say that we only eat on the couches. It’s just us, we don’t have a real dining room, and the table takes up too much of our apartment. But, if we had kids I’m sure we would let them. You’d have to change the parents (my hubby would never, ever go for no eating on the couch) before expecting the kids to adhere. I pick and chose my battles :)

  • http://fab50.blogspot.com Fab Kate

    unfortunately, in our apartment, there is no dining space. We can eat in the living room or we can eat standing up at the kitchen counter. I do have a small table in the living room (seats two) that the kids eat at, but we can either eat sequentially or one of us has to sit on the couch. I’m not happy with that, because it’s a bad habit to get into.

  • http://www.fittothefinish.com/blog Diane Fit to the Finish

    With seven kids, this is so hard to enforce! I’m so bad about handing the 2 year old a little granola bar and letting him wander around with it. So no, we don’t have that rule, but we SHOULD!

    Now the older kids don’t eat anywhere but in the kitchen. The 2 year old does. What’s wrong with this picture. . .

  • Autumn

    Um, yeah. We eat 99% of our meals in the living room. At least we use TV trays! I think if we had an eat in kitchen we’d eat there, but our kitchen is tiny, our dining room table is often covered in some project or another, and that leaves… the couches! No kids yet, this might have to change when they enter the picture…

  • petunia

    Hmmmm, it’s really hard not to have a nice bowl of popcorn in front of the tv / movie / sports some time.

    So make a few exceptions (superbowl? etc.) but then sticking to the clean rule should work wonders!

  • Jessica

    I love eating in front of the tv. I save up my WW points so that after my daughters go to bed, I can curl up in front of my favorite tv show with a great snack and eat and relax. We periodically clean out from under the couch and are horrified by the snacks I found my kids eat on the couch, but I know I couldnt stick to the eating in the kitchen only rule, so I dont make them. I do applaud you for doing it though!
    And ditto to Autumn, my table is often covered in a craft project, leaving nowhere to eat but the couch

  • Jeri Lyn

    I do eat in the living room & in front of the TV. I know everyone says these days that it’s a bad habit & they’re probably right, but I enjoy it. I do try & preportion my snack in the kitchen so I don’t continue to munch out of a large bag. When my portion is done, i’m done. Of course I also don’t have any kids, so hopefully not as many crumbs in the couch. :o)

  • Agnes

    I have been trying to install this rule for literally years! My boyfriend lived alone for many years before we moved in together and so he’s the first to eat in the living room. I hate it but I find myself doing it all the time too. I know it’s a big factor in my “out of control” night time snacking. You have inspired me once again Roni! I am installing my own “no eating in the living room” rule effective immediately! If my boyfriend wants to eat in the living room I won’t stop him but I will not join him!

  • http://hlcaterpillar.blogspot.com/ Lynn C

    As I don’t HAVE a dining room and my kitchen is so small I have to leave it to change my mind… if I didn’t eat in the living room, I’d weigh nothing, since I wouldn’t have anywhere TO eat.

    Mostly I eat in front of my computer…

    Ah, wish we had a house.

  • http://www.lunzygras.com lunzy a la lunzygras

    no eating on the couch, but in the living room? yes. on the coffee table with kiddie stools, in front of the TV. it’s not all the time, but for snacks and sometimes meals when I am running around trying to get stuff done.

  • http://terrasolcreations.blogspot.com pattie

    Guilty Here! Not only that but I also eat in my….bed!!! Now, not my meals or anything but lots of popcorn. Usually on Friday and Saturday nights after getting the kids to bed my hubby and I go into our bedroom to watch a movie and we will have popcorn. We eat all of our meals at the dinner table though. Usually it’s just snacks on the couches. When we get new couches though I will have to change the rules!!

  • Saucy Wench

    I’ve had that rule before and honestly, we thought about /why/ we’re eating in the living room. The answer is simple: the TV.

    So then we decided to move a TV into the line of sight of the breakfast room or dining room. Worked great! Except now the TV was on for EVERY MEAL. Thus, the rule changed again:

    No eating in the living room.

    No TV during dinner (it was okay at breakfast, lunch, or snacks).

    That has worked pretty well over the years. Except now my hubby moved the TV out of the line of sight of the breakfast room… sigh. :)

  • http://itallchanges.wordpress.com Cynthia (It All Changes)

    We did this when my cousins visited. It was a good rule for all of us. Kept my couch cleaner and it made me not eat as many snacks because I didn’t always want to get up to go into the kitchen or dining room to eat it so I just didn’t.

  • anna

    have always had a no-eating-anywhere-else-in-the-house-but-the-dining-room rule. saves the carpets and the furniure for SURE! does it help with the snacking…..sometimes! have an island in the kitchen so i can just plop there and eat (and bring my laptop) sigh….

  • http://blogtolose Michelle

    Would love to have that rule, but, alas the hubby loves to eat in front of the TV too. I will make dinner and he will say “Is this a table meal?” Most of the time it is, but I will make exceptions just for him, especially tacos, for some reason. The messiest meal of them all and he has to eat it in front of the tv. For the kids I do lay a table cloth on the rug and let them eat too. My nighttime snacking happens more in front of the computer which, unfortunatly, is in the kitchen, so I can’t even let a rule about the living room stop me!

  • Amber

    Husband and I yes. The 3 kids…no way.

  • http://waistingduxie.blogspot.com/ Alison

    Hey Roni,
    I go a step further I have a no eating unless i’m sitting at the table rule. My only exception is to taste a recipe for seasoning while cooking (one taste!) I found I am much much more conscious of what I eat now that I only eat at the table. I will still mindlessly pick up food, but i have ingrained the habit of going to the table that sometimes that act alone will make me put something away. I get to the table and say “Oh my god, what am I doing????” It has cut down on my mindless snacking enormously. I still have planned snacks but I have them at the table and I enjoy them much much more since I’m aware of every bite and really taste it.

  • Jennie

    I would say, sadly, we only eat in the living room. Our table is notorious fro being filled with clutter. Everytime it gets cleared, it will be filled within a week. Perhaps when we have a little one this will change.

  • http://blogtolose.com/KUrunner KUrunner

    The no eating in the living room rule applies only to my daughter. I eat in the living room for a couple of reasons, but mainly because the couch is a lot more comfortable than our kitchen chairs. Plus, I like having my nightly snack curled up next to the husband and watching the tivo.

    As far as cutting out the bad snacking, I’ve found that “No Eating at the Computer” works a lot better for me.

  • Christie

    My husband and I have a perfectly good dining room table but it always ends up cluttered with mail and other odds and ends. So… we always eat on the couch in front of the tv. It’s usually a “special occasion” (Valentines day, anniversary) dinner with candles and such for us to eat in the dining room.

  • Christie

    Another thing…. I agree with KUrunner. A good rule for me is no eating in front of the computer (which is in the home office in the back of the house). When I clean, I find some wrappers and crumbs that I’d rather not have in the computer room.

  • http://www.realrunner-tammy.blogspot.com/ Tammy

    Um, yeah, I had a “No Eating in the Living Room” rule…. when we first moved in. It went the same way of the “No Eating in the New Car” rule. It works great for a while, but then life happens.

  • http://questadolcevita.blogspot.com Rachael

    Meals, NO. Snacks, sometimes. Husband and I like a little something when we watch movies at night :)

  • http://oppositelife.blogspot.com Pubsgal

    Our living room/dining room/kitchen is like one big room. We allow the kids to have non-sticky snacks on the couch and water; everything else is consumed at the table or the kitchen counter “bar.” No food or beverages except water in bedrooms, though, because we get ants really easily.

  • http://www.blogtolose.com/profile/Tish Tish

    We do eat in our family room (with the TV) pretty much unless we’re having people over, in which case we eat in the dining room. However, I also strive not to eat after dinner and we have always had a no-eating-upstairs rule in our house. Usually I’m fine with no snacking after dinner, but sometimes, if the munch-monster is bothering me, I’ll just go upstairs. We have a TV in our sitting room up there and I also like to read while listening to great music. That does it for me. The only exception to the upstairs rule is that we do have an electric kettle in the sitting room and all the necessary accoutrements for making tea. Bigelowe’s Vanilla Caramel tea with a packet of sweetener is very satisfying.

  • Dorene

    I’m so glad to see so many eat in front of the TV. Hubby and I have made a new rule to have dinner at the dining room table, so far so good. I however will snack in front of the tube, never thought if I have to get up and stay away from my favorite shows I’d eat less…tonight new rule no snacks in the living room!
    Thanks for the idea.

  • Jes

    Nighttime eating is my weakness and I have struggled with it. Lately, what has helped me is that I don’t allow and snacky-type things or unplanned snacks on the couch. However, I save my WW smoothie to eat on the Family Room couch at 9:00. It’s my quiet-time treat. Often the TV is on, but not always. Ultimately, I would like to get away from this habit, too, and just enjoy the shake (have you tried the white choc mint? OMG!!). So I am trying to turn off the TV more and more. It’s a process.

    It really is an habit without any redeeming value – we should all knock it off.

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