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How To Not Gain Extra Weight While Writing for HubPages: 5 Tips for Avoiding a Muffin Top!

Updated on August 22, 2016

Muffin Top!

Getting a Muffin Top?
Getting a Muffin Top? | Source

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!

Hubpages 15
Hubpages 15 | Source

Weight Gain

Have you gained weight as a HP Author?

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HubPages 15!

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!

Sound familiar?

WTF - How did this happen!

OMG I am FAT!
OMG I am FAT! | Source

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

Set a timer every 2-hours
Set a timer every 2-hours | Source

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.

Healthy Snacks

Choose healthy snacks
Choose healthy snacks | Source

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!

Don't eat and write!
Don't eat and write! | Source

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!

Reduce Caffeine

Be mindful of caffeine
Be mindful of caffeine | Source

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!

Physical Activity

Take a walk
Take a walk | Source

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

Peace out!

Mister Hollywood

Comments

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    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Well, my hubbing always comes along with a cup of coffee (or two). Okay, I admit to some junks on the side. :) Very useful indeed but I think destroying a relationship due to HP addiction is too much.

      So, a balance life in my opinion is the key word.

      Cheers!

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 2 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Thanks, CrisP. I appreciate your sharing. My point with writing too much is that it can take time away from relationships. It is easy to get caught up in writing and neglect the important relationships in our lives.

      Thanks again!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What? Only 15 lbs? And isn't it normal to hide with your face glued to the computer screen. It keeps me out of the way and therefore helps my relationships!

      Very fun hub indeed and way too much truth to it.

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 2 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Thanks, Eric!! I love what you wrote by the way - so funny!

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 2 years ago from New Jersey

      All good advice. I can add another, after spending so much time typing over the last few years. Beware of carpal tunnel. My chiropractor has been helping me with it, but I have to have surgery within the next year if I don't want the damage to be irreversible. I'm told to take a break every half hour or so for at least 10 minutes. We lose track of time and forget when we get engrossed in polishing off these hubs!

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 2 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Excellent advice Jean - Thank you for sharing this! I'm sorry to hear you have had to suffer with Carpel tunnel. I've heard it's very painful!,

    • profile image

      Nick 2 years ago

      My wife writes for you guys and she just sent me this. God I hope she actually does some of this stuff because she's gotton really fat. It's not attractive. The extra money she hauls in is nice but it's all going to her thighs and butt.

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 2 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      I hope your wife doesn't read what you wrote! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Great article...and very clever. As someone who writes and also uses the computer for work, I applaud your ideas and suggestions. Thank you.

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 2 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Thanks, Genna! Glad you liked. Love your hubs by the way!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Useful, funny, interesting! It's the physical exercise I hate, but I do get up often to do something, even if it's just to let a pet in and out. :-) Neat idea for a hub!

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 2 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Thanks, Victoria! I am glad you enjoyed and found useful:)!!

    • Nastya Bronnikova profile image

      Anastasia Bronnikova 2 years ago from Russia, Novosibirsk

      I'm new to HP and whoa, that's quite a grave warning to face on your way in! :D I'll certainly keep your tips in mind while working out my writing routine. Thanks for such an entertaining and informative hub!

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 2 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Glad you liked Nastya!

    • Frida Rose profile image

      Frida Rose 24 months ago from Maryland

      I am transitioning into writing full-time and I am soooo glad I found this hub early :) Thanks for sharing all the great tips!

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 24 months ago from Hollywood, CA

      Glad you dug it and thanks!!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 24 months ago from Arkansas USA

      You are SO right on with your tips, Misterhollywood! Physical activity is my downfall; I simply don't move enough to work off those meals I eat at the computer (caught me!). Love the idea of setting a timer as a reminder to take a break. Great advice. Thanks!

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 24 months ago from Hollywood, CA

      Hi, Susan,

      Thanks for stopping by. As writers, it is so easy to get caught up in the work and forget about taking care of ourselves. Glad you liked this! I'll be by your hubs later :)

    • Pollyanna Jones profile image

      Pollyanna Jones 22 months ago from United Kingdom

      Just ate whilst Hubbing, it was a salad though... ;-) Seriously, this is a great article. It hit home and I can relate to all the points in here. Thanks for this helpful piece.

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 22 months ago from Hollywood, CA

      I can very much relate to just eating and hubbing. So glad you liked and stopped by!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 22 months ago from New Delhi, India

      What a wonderful way to remind everyone to avoid weight gain while hubbing or sitting for hours in front of the computer!

      Thankfully I am very conscious about it and I don't eat while hubbing. I avoid too much time in front of computer or T.V. as well.

      Writing and reading is my hobby, but it should not affect health adversely. I eat healthy and do not miss my Yoga and evening walks.

      Great article, voted up and worth sharing at HP!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 22 months ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Interesting hub; informative too. I hope it will be helpful to many hubbers here. Keep on writing such useful hubs. Voted up and shared here at HP.

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 21 months ago from Hollywood, CA

      Thanks Alexa_ I'm glad you liked! I'm reading your hubs now and loving!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 21 months ago from southern USA

      Great suggestion and for all of us Hubbers, I believe we can relate to this sad reality! I think sitting too much at the computer will actually shorten our lives! I work as a paralegal in the city with an hour commute, and then get home and get on HP and so the saga continues LOL. Well, in reality, it is not a laughing matter, as our health is at risk with the hours of sitting at the computer. The battle of the bulge is a reality ...

    • misterhollywood profile image
      Author

      John Hollywood 21 months ago from Hollywood, CA

      Thanks Faith! It's fun to laugh about for sure but like you said also pretty serious. Thanks for the post!

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