How to Go on a No TV Diet

Claire Bush

Want to see if you can live without TV? Taking a break from the habit may give you an idea of how your time could be more profitably spent. Whether you want more leisure to read, pursue a hobby, hit the gym or just bond with friends and family, try these ideas to cold turkey TV from your life.


Plan to deep six the TV for one month. Experts say that it takes between 21 and 28 days to establish new habits, so this should give you a reasonable timeframe.

Set a date to begin, and start preparing in advance.

Make sure others in your household know of your decision. It will be easier if they go TV free with you, but you can take a hiatus from the tube solo; let loved ones know you aren't avoiding them, just refocusing for a time.

Lay in a supply of books you've been meaning to read, including classics you haven't gotten around to and favorite authors you've enjoyed in the past. This would be a good time to order a new magazine subscription, renew your library card or join a book club.

Explore your neighborhood. Check out the Middle Eastern grocery store, a nearby boutique, music store or cafe you've been meaning to visit.

Catch up with friends and family. Call your mother or visit with a neighbor you'd like to get to know.

Walk after dinner instead of settling onto the sofa as soon as the dishes are done.

Pick up a musical instrument you haven't played in years and give it a try.

Begin a journal and record your thoughts and ideas.

Finish a long-neglected project around the house.

If you have a partner, give each other a massage or try a couples' yoga class together.

Don't feel every minute has to be spent productively. Downtime - whether it's daydreaming, sketching, birdwatching or just hanging out on the back porch - is restorative to the mind and spirit.

How to Go On a No TV Diet

About The Author: An Arizona freelance writer for the past decade, Claire is a regular contributor to the Arizona Republic's business, career builder and community sections and is also the author of a statewide restaurant guide, "Dining in Arizona - 101 Great Places to Eat" Claire has co-authored several cookbooks and is now a working chef and menu designer in Sun City, AZ.

September 10, 20080 found this helpful

We have gone on this diet at least once every year!

We usually pick Sept. so we miss all the new program starts, it makes it easier not to get hooked on them! We play alot of games and get alot more done...Most of our friends think we are crazy, I say if you can't live without a month of T.V, YOU are crazy:)

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September 10, 20080 found this helpful

Best of all in an election year!...

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September 11, 20080 found this helpful

My four children and I went on a no tv diet for 2 years.... I had to sell our tv due to my being laid off! We were fine, and even now I rarely watch a whole television show. The kids stay entertained well enough, but my 19 year old claims he must have the tv on in order for him to sleep!

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September 14, 20080 found this helpful

People like this writer, who live in Sun City, have no lives, so of course they don't need TV.

We need it to stay informed about things like this all-important election. Local news. Weather. You can educate yourself about an unlimited number of topics, by watching channels like Animal Planet, National Geographic, etc.

Most of all, it need not be a waste of time. Use the time watching TV to sort through a junk drawer, fold the laundry, do some knitting, pay some bills, etc. Heck, even exercise while watching TV, so you won't be a couch potato!

TV isn't the monster people portray it to be. It's something that can be used wisely or misused. The choice depends on the person holding the remote control.

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September 17, 20080 found this helpful

I couldn't live without TV. It doesn't mean that I don't do lots of other things, but I love my soapies.

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