The following post on Unhealthy Eating Habits of Unproductive Bloggers is from Lea Woodward who will be contributing a monthly post here at Problogger on Healthy Blogging. You can read more about Lea below.
You’ve just got up, put the coffee on and are sitting bleary-eyed in front of your computer. Feeling productive? Full of energy? Ready to write that killer blog post that’s just screaming to get out?
Nope – me neither…and I don’t even drink coffee so I can’t use that to perk me up and get me going.
There is so much controversy about eating healthily – what’s good, what’s not and what you should and shouldn’t be eating – that when Darren asked if I’d be interested in writing more about health on Problogger, I seriously had to think twice.
But obviously I couldn’t pass up this opportunity and so I decided to approach it this way…
You guys and gals out there reading this post are all individuals. You each have unique requirements when it comes to your health and dietary needs. I can’t possibly advise you in one blog post on all the best things to eat and wouldn’t even dream of trying. You know best when it comes to your body and what it needs to be healthy – not me.
Some of you however might have forgotten this or forgotten how to listen and hear what your body is telling you…you might even have the following symptoms or signs from your body:
- Weight gain or loss
- Needing coffee to get you going in the morning
- Constant headaches
- Dizzy or spacey spells
- Worsening allergies
- Disrupted or poor sleep patterns
- PMS leaving you prone to exaggerated responses and uncontrollable irritation at even the smallest things
- Only feeling productive and ‘awake’ after your evening meal
- If so, then it’s likely that you have one or more of the following unhealthy habits that are causing you to be a far more unproductive blogger than you could be.
These habits include…
1. Not Planning Your Meals and Snacks
You must have had that experience when you’ve forgotten to eat and suddenly feel starving…a root around the cupboards and refrigerator turns up nothing but a bag of chips, some chocolate or some instant noodles and even after you snaffle those down, you’re hungry again within the hour.
With a bit of forward planning, you can have more of the ‘right’ foods in your fridge and cupboards and less of the ‘naughty’ foods that you know you grab when the hunger pangs strike. Stocking up with quick and easy solutions to nourish your body in the middle of a blogging frenzy is a great way to maintain your productivity without having to reach for the junk food.
2. Eating sporadically and erratically
Grabbing food here and there, as and when you remember to eat is one way to mess up your blood sugar levels and metabolism. There’s a reason why the advice to “eat regularly” is in every single diet and nutrition book you’ve ever read…it works!
From a blogging perspective, it helps maintain your blood sugar levels and therefore your energy levels – and also helps you maintain your focus and concentration for longer periods. If you are trying to lose weight, it is also a great way to ensure that your metabolism remains stable and your body doesn’t go into starvation mode when you’ve forgotten to feed it after 6 hours of non-stop blogging.
3. Loading up on high carb, low fat or low carb food
Food combining, high protein, low fat, no carbs, vegetarian – no one type of diet works for everyone. You have a unique biochemistry and therefore unique nutrient needs. What works for your friend won’t necessarily work for you and vice versa.
How do you know what works for you? Largely by trial and error and by listening to your body. Everybody needs a balance of the 3 main macronutrients – proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
If you get the balance of these wrong at any one meal, you can expect your body to let you know. You might feel:
- Sluggish and drowsy
- Hyper and jittery
- Unable to focus or concentrate
If this is the case, play around with the balance of foods at each meal until you get it right. Try eating more carbs in relation to proteins & fats. Or the other way round – eat more proteins & fats in relation to carbs – this is usually the most common adjustment people need to make.
When you get the balance right (and remember, it might differ by meal and time of day), you will feel satisfied and nourished, a sense of wellbeing and easily able to focus and concentrate on your blogging.
4. Eating nothing but packaged, high-convenience foods
There is an ever-growing awareness of how much healthier organic, locally grown foods are for you. Obviously however they can be expensive and if you’re still not convinced then that’s ok. A wide range of fresh foods in your diet however are infinitely better for you than surviving solely on packaged/canned/tinned/dried/frozen foods because of the quality and range of nutrients provided. Whatever your budget, always aim to get the freshest and best quality foods you can to include in your diet.
5. Taking supplements in place of eating real foods
Supplementation is a necessary consideration these days because of the destruction and contamination of our natural food supplies. The over-processing of food, even organic food, destroys much of the nutrient value and can often fail to provide your body with the full range of nutrients it needs.
Good quality supplementation can sometimes be the answer – but it is not a substitute for the real thing…fresh, real foods.
6. Depriving yourself of things you enjoy in the name of ‘health’
…which is admirable but not so great when you give in to your cravings and eat that huge bag of chips sitting in the cupboard. Cravings are often a sign that you haven’t got the balance of your meals right yet – so work on this first and your cravings will disappear.
If you follow the 80/20 rule and nourish your body with the food it needs 80% of the time, there is nothing wrong with treating yourself to the things you enjoy 20% of the time. There is nothing like an ice cold beer or glass of red wine at the end of a successful week of blogging – and it is absolutely fine to do this. A qualified health coach said so!
7. Ignoring the warning signs your body is giving you
Every single cell in your body knows exactly how to do its job perfectly. When something’s not right, your body will tell you – it’s your job to listen and act accordingly. Ignoring these signs is like ignoring the comments your readers leave on your blog if they’re not happy with what you’re doing…it’ll only end in tears!
If, after years of abuse and unhealthy habits, you’ve lost the ability to listen to your body, then start by incorporating some of the heathier habits above into your eating routines and you should begin to notice the signs your body tells you.
Your body is a finely-tuned blogging machine – establish healthy eating habits and feed it well and it will keep you blogging for years to come.
Lea Woodward is a former health coach & personal trainer who now coaches others in the industry on how to build and grow their health and fitness businesses. She is editor of a health and fitness blog, Get Better Abs, and does this whilst traveling the world permanently as a location independent professional. Lea will be contributing a monthly post to ProBlogger on the topic of healthy blogging.