How to Binge Watch

Binge watching, or watching back-to-back episodes of a show, has become a popular way to enjoy TV. In fact, some shows now release entire seasons at the same time to make it even easier to binge watch. To get started, you’ll just need a streaming service or a set of DVDs, plus a few snacks and a comfy place to watch!

Getting Set Up

Clear your schedule.

If you plan on binge watching a show, you need to make sure you don’t have any other pressing priorities for the rest of the day. You might tell yourself that you’ll still make it to dinner with your friends at 8, but when you’re 5 episodes deep into Game of Thrones and it’s time to get ready, you’ll wish you had cancelled.

  • The amount of time you’ll need depends on how long the show is. Some single-season shows can be finished in just a couple of hours, but longer-running shows could take multiple binging sessions over several weeks.

Find a comfy spot.

You’re going to be hanging out here for awhile, so pick somewhere that will allow you to shift your position to keep you comfortable. Try binge-watching on your couch or in a reclining chair. If possible, watch on an actual TV instead of on a computer or mobile device to reduce eye strain.

  • As tempting as it may be to binge every season of Orange is the New Black while you’re sitting in your bed, watching TV in bed can lead to insomnia. The blue light from screens mimics that of sunlight, tricking your brain into feeling more awake.

Stock up on snacks.

You’ll need to stay hydrated and nourished through your binge-watching session, so make sure your fridge is stocked with some of your faves. To avoid racking up extra calories, keep healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, and low-fat popcorn on hand.

  • Portion out less healthy snacks like chips into plastic bags beforehand so you don’t eat too much at one time.

Use a binge-watching session as an opportunity to drink more water.

Fill a large thermos with ice water and keep it handy, then refill it when you take breaks. Toss in a couple of lemon slices or a few berries to give your water a natural flavor.

Choosing Your Show

Sign up for a free trial of a streaming service if you don’t have one.

Services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go often offer a free 30-day trial to let you try them before you sign up. This can be a great way to binge watch a show without having to pay for it.

  • You usually have to provide a credit card number to get a free trial. Just be sure to cancel when your trial is up to avoid having any charges put on your card.

Watch with a friend who has an account if you don’t have one.

If you don’t want to sign up for a free trial, ask a friend with a streaming service to binge watch with you. Watching a show is usually more fun with someone else, anyway.

  • Make sure your friend hasn’t seen the show so that they don’t spoil it for you, unless your friend can watch the show again without spoiling it. It is also fun to have a group binge watching together to make sure you don’t fall asleep or miss anything.

Check your local cable listings for marathons of shows.

Cable channels will often air several episodes of a show, especially right before a new season of that show airs. If you have a DVR, set it up to record so you can watch the show at your leisure. If you don’t, just plan to binge watch when it airs!

Purchase a show on DVD or buy a digital copy.

If you buy a show, you can watch it as many times as you want! You can either buy the DVD or Blu-ray version, or you can purchase it digitally through a service like iTunes.

Pick the show you’re going to watch.

If you’re binge-watching a show on DVD, your choice is easy. However, if you’re using a streaming service, it can be hard to narrow down your choices. Ask your friends for recommendations, check out binge-watching guides online, or reach out to ask your social media contacts what they’re watching.

Staying Comfortable

Order food delivery so you don’t have to cook.

Part of the appeal of binge-watching is that it can give you a chance to completely relax — a luxury most of us don’t get to enjoy often. Make the most of it by having your food delivered during your binge-watching session.

  • If you’ve been snacking on healthy treats, go ahead and splurge a little with Chinese take-out or a pizza. Other foods include ramen noodles, Totinos pizza rolls, and maybe some sushi.
  • Check to see if there’s a meal delivery service like Waitr or Uber Eats in your area to have a dish from your favorite local spot delivered right to your door!

Find ways to stay active while you’re watching.

Binge watching TV can slow your metabolism, which can lead to a whole host of health problems. Fight this by staying active while you watch your show. Get up and stretch between episodes, hit pause after a great scene, or do chores like folding laundry or washing dishes.

  • Even just a 1-minute workout can help combat some of the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Jog in place, do a quick series of jumping jacks, or do as many pushups as you can in 1 minute between episodes.

Turn off the screen 30 minutes before bed.

If you want to be sure you get a good night’s sleep, you have to give your brain time to unwind. Give yourself at least half an hour post-binge before you try to go to bed.

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