How To Not Gain Extra Weight While Writing for HubPages: 5 Tips for Avoiding a Muffin Top!
Gaining weight as a Hubber?
Do you write a lot of articles on HubPages? Do you spend hour after hour on the computer, working on your hubs and trying to get them to a place of perfection?
In your zeal to churn out quality material, do you find yourself stress eating while staring at the computer screen?
Are you gobbling down chocolates, candies and other sweets in a desperate effort to keep your energy level high? Has the size of your butt made a growing imprint on your chair?
If you answered yes to these questions, there is a good chance you are gaining extra weight while writing for HubPages! Goodness knows you are not alone. Many of your fellow Hubbers have experienced this same problem – something I call the HubPages 15!
What’s that you say?
15 Extra Lbs!
Have you gained weight as a HP Author?
The Hubpages 15 (HP-15) is when you pack on anywhere from five to fifteen extra pounds as a result of trying to make money on HP!
You are more likely to be the victim of the HP-15 if you have been freaking out over plummeting site traffic numbers and use food as a coping mechanism.
I’ve been writing here at HP for a number of years. Like you, many of my Hubs run the gambit – ranging from every day practical advice on men’s health topics to niche interests, such as male Scorpio characteristics. Some of my work even relates to celebrities.
If you have been posting material around here for any amount of time, you know that coming up with good content can be a struggle and that it takes time to push quality stuff.
Throw in the fairly high expectations HubPages has for its writers and it’s enough to send anyone reaching for a Hershey’s bar!
WTF - How did this happen!
Hubpages and Weight Gain
Recently, I started to crank out articles in a streak of creativity. Where the ideas and energy came from to write these hubs I have no idea. I never question this – I kind of just go with it. Well, anyway, it didn’t take long before I became aware that I was developing a muffin-top!
Do you know how disturbing it is to see love handles pouring over once perfecting fitting jeans? It kind of freaked me out.
I ended up posting a thread in the forums on this topic and was SHOCKED at the number of responses from people who could relate!
After reading through the various postings and infusing some of my own insight, I decided to create a hub that spoke to this issue in an effort to help my fellow writers. What follows are 5 tips on how to avoid developing the HP 15 and prevent you developing a massive muffin top.
Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!
Take structured breaks
1. Set a timer to go off every 2-hours
It is SO easy to get started on a hub and get caught up in the writing process. When your creative juices are flowing, time has a way of quickly going by! How many of you have started an article and noticed that two or three hours flew by in the blink of an eye? While it is great that your writing “chip” is fully activated, it can sometimes come at a cost. Here, I am specifically talking about physical activity and movement.
One way to make sure you are staying semi-active is to get up from your desk and move around. I have found that by setting my smart-phone’s timer to go off every 2-hours, I can remind myself to get my big butt up from my desk and get away. You can use anything, like an egg timer or old fashioned alarm clock as a timer. Here are some additional tips in this area:
- Put the timer far away from you so that you are FORCED to get up and turn it off.
- Take a 15-minute break each time the alarm goes off and do something physical. Examples include walking around the block, doing pushup, stretching or even abdominal crunches.
- Make a conscious choice on what you will be eating during your break (see next tip).
- Set boundaries for how many hours a day you will write and stick to it.
- Think about creating office hours for writing if you write on a regular basis.
2. Choose healthy snacks
Writing can be stressful. As mentioned previously, it is not easy to generate high quality material that people want to read on the Internet. If you are like me, you may unknowingly gravitate towards crunchy type snacks to deal with the stress. Here, I am talking about chips, cookies and chocolate bars.
If you live in a higher latitude city, your may even reach for high carb foods as a way of chasing away the winter blues. Unfortunately, your power snacking could be adding extra inches to your waste and causing you to blow up like a giant Macy’s Day Float!
One way to engage in harm reduction so as to not gain the HP-15 is to choose healthy snacks. Here, I am talking about carrots and celery – along with apples, pears and peaches. Here are a few additional pointers to think about:
- First, ask yourself if you are really hungry. Chances are you just feel stressed out and can easily satiate your appetite by drinking water.
- If you truly are hungry, have several of the snacks mentioned above easily accessible. Cut up fruit and place these items on a plate. Store in fridge. Raisins and grapes are great choices!
- When you are planning for your regular meals, make smart food choices that are low in fat and high in protein.
- Plan out 4-5 small meals each day. This way you do not overeat out of a place of hunger.
Don't eat and type!
3. Do not eat meals at your computer
Come on – admit it. How many of you have found yourself eating breakfast, lunch or dinner in front of your desktop? I used to do it and know just how easy it can be to fall into that trap. I won’t go on forever and a day with this one because you already know this is a no-no. Here are a few tips to reinforce this point
- Plan your meals each day and make sure the place that you eat is NOT anywhere near your computer.
- Do not eat and use your tablet to check your HP traffic or status of hubs. All this will do is stress you out and cause you to eat faster, which in turn means you are not properly digesting your food.
- Take a mindful approach to eating and make sure that you are taking the time to taste your food.
- If you have IBS, it is extra important to be mindful of what and where you eat!
4. Cut down on coffee and soda
I love coffee. I also enjoy drinking diet sodas and teas from time to time. While the occasional boost of energy gained from these kinds of caffeine products can provide a much needed jolt, they can also paradoxically harm you by activating the stress response, which can cause you to go into massive pig-out mode!
Here are a few mindful tips for this suggestion:
- Limit yourself to just a few caffeinated drinks a day.
- Opt for decaffeinated teas that particularly help to reduce stress. Excellent choices include decaf green teas and certain types of white teas.
- Avoid fake “juice” drinks that are high in sugar content (aka Kool-Aid). Instead, reach for water.
- If you must have soda, try to buy clear sodas like Diet Sprite. Clear sodas are better for you than dark pops anyway. Just make sure whatever you buy is caffeine free!
Think about meditation
5. Make physical activity part of your daily ritual
As a writer, you were born with a chip that makes you creative. Not everyone has the abilities that you have. While this is a gift, it can also be a curse because it comes at a cost. Here, I am talking about forgoing your own physical well-being in order to help others through your writing.
Writers are more likely to feel more as well, which means the onset of depression and anxiety can kick in as a result. All of this can cause you to eat more! Toss in the difficulty for writing at HP sometimes and your problems can become compounded. This is why it is vital that you make physical activity part of your daily ritual as a writer.
Here are a few tips in this area:
- Consider joining a gym and make a commitment that you will go several days a week.
- Try to include cardiovascular activities as part of your daily “To Do” list. Aim for 20-30 minutes of low impact cardio if you can!
- Watch out for signs of depression and anxiety.
- Remember that exercise not only gives you a healthy activity to do away from the computer, it also helps to spark creativity for future hubs!
- Consider spending a few minutes of your break-time engaging in meditation. I have included a video here to use as a starting point.
Summing it Up
We Hubbers are very special people. We tend to think, feel and stress more than our non-writer counterparts. If you are regularly active here at HP, you know all too well the ups and downs of trying to make money here!
I don’t want any of you to be a victim of the HP-15. If you have already started to notice the weight creeping on, it is not too late to do something about it. I am going to recommend a book here entitled Mindful Weight Loss by Sarah Brooks. Inside, you will find page after page of useful information to help you lose those pounds and keep them off. This is a GREAT resource for writers.
A friend of mine who writes hubs here recently finished this book after her boyfriend observed that she was starting to gain weight. Through a process of trial and error based on suggestions from the book, she started to shed extra pounds and lose belly fat.
Finally, last point (I promise). It is important that you make time for loved ones in your life. Your computer will always be there. If you spend too much time churning out articles, you run the risk of neglecting the people who are closest to you. This is why relationships collapse and divorces happen!
OK my alarm just went off, which means it is time for me to take a break. Thanks for taking the time to read this hub. I hope you found the tips and suggestions here useful. Please add me to your followers and I will follow you back.
We have such a great community here at HP – we need to look out for one another! XO