The 24 Diet: How Compelling Television Can Thin Out America

Nov 27, 2006 | Updated May 25, 2011

Coming off the non-stop gorging event that is the Thanksgiving holiday, I found it an appropriate time to share a diet secret I learned earlier this year.

Like many of you, I was always the type of person who would buy a gym membership but rarely go. Not that I abhorred spending time at the gym, but there was no compelling reason to bring me back day after day - I always found something more interesting to do. That was until I coupled my daily workout routine with the recent boom in captivating serialized network television.

In April I began a new diet I call The 24 Plan. By the beginning of July, with the help of the television show 24, I lost 30 lbs. You can too! If you follow this plan, I guarantee you will also lose weight or this blog entry is free.

All you need is a portable DVD player, a Netflix subscription, and a gym membership. Here's what you do - it's quite simple. Go to the gym with your portable DVD player and get on the elliptical machine. Put an episode of the television show into your DVD player and watch it while you're on the machine. I used 24, but there are many other shows that work just as well (Lost, Grey's, Prison Break, The Wire, etc). Before you know it the show will be over and you'll have exercised for 44 whole minutes!

As you start to crave the next development in the season-long plot lines and character arcs, you will not only stop dreading your trips to the gym, but you will start to look forward to them.

One note: Watching episodes anywhere besides the gym is cheating. These shows are addictive, but if you can get your fix in your living room you'll have no reason to get back on that elliptical machine.

Good luck!