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7 Unhealthy Eating Habits of Unproductive Bloggers

Posted By Darren Rowse 8th of December 2007 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Unhealthy-EatingThe 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.

Image by Stitch

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.

Image by chotda

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.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Vegemite is guaranteed to develop better blog posts, right? I hope so since my husband (who is Australian) finally succeeded in acclimating me to the stuff.

  2. this is so great! i’ve really been getting more concerned about health and my eating habits…

    and i think bloggers will benifit from articles on sleep and excercise!

    I’m glad ur here!

  3. This is interesting since, after only two months at my blog, I am already seeing myself make poor food choices on a regular basis. This is a direct result of improper planning;. This article was timely, as this is in my psyche right now. I’m also finding excuses not to work out and I’ve missed my yoga class three times — something unthinkable before blogging. I was saying to myself this week, “I gotta get back on track” and I gotta be more conscious about my health.”

  4. I am guilty of unhealthy habit #1.
    I need to more plan, but I am lazy when it comes to food.

  5. I think your last paragraph is perhaps the most important.

    Most people don’t realize how bad they feel.

    What I mean is that if you’ve never really been healthy (or haven’t been in a long time), you have no baseline. You think it’s normal to feel the way you do. On the other hand, if you do exercise regularly and eat healthily, and slip up for a week or two, you know it: you feel crappy and you know why: too much junk food, too little exercise.

    I’ve had a busy, busy week and I feel sluggish, fuzzy.. too much holiday food at parties, too little exercise.. I’ll fix that, but I know that a LOT of the people I see around me feel like this every single day. They simply do not know how badly they feel!

  6. Hi Lea! This is one of the few blogposts I’ll actually print out! Great content!

  7. I love how you talk about eating healthy and such but you toss in the photos oh garbage food! lol Though those burgers are looking mighty scrumptious!!

    I get sick looking at the donuts though.

  8. This post should have been titled, “Jason Falls’s daily menu choices.” I guess I’m the exception to your rule, though I’m certain if I followed the advice here, I’d have more energy, be more enthusiastic and perhaps even blog better.

    Great, albeit resembling, post!

  9. Nice article. I’m trying to eat healthy as much i can, and going in fitness 3days a week. i think being healthy and good looking is one of the most important thing. Computers are really addictive, so most of people aren’t so much healthy just because of it. Your post has a lot of healthy suggestion, nice work!

  10. Hi,

    This topic talk about something improtant really. We usually stay more than 2 hours preparing somthing for our blogs and we forgot to drink some water!

    oh now i feel hungry!

  11. Great post Lea! I find myself eating a lot of pre-packaged and fast foods lately. I seem to be so busy that I just eat what’s the most convenient and the quickest. However, the waist line doesn’t like that.

  12. I wish that wasn’t a checklist of my eating over the past 10 days, but it is. I need to reform and start working out. Thank god I’ve got a stupidly crazy metabolisim that can allow such abuse, but still it’s unhealthy.

  13. Sorry, but this post isn’t what I look for at Problogger. I agree that it is important that bloggers take care of themselves and develop good eating habits, but if I want such information I’ll go to a health-related blog – like the author’s. Just my two cents.

  14. i very feel hungry!

  15. Great list. I have a fitness blog that I post tips and ideas for better health everyday and I think that this article contains the real essence of bad eating and what you should do to change it.

    ProBlogger – building healthy Bloggers

  16. I would say only the people who’s full time job is blogging will suffer from that. People with a regular job at a company who blogs part time won’t have that happen.

  17. That’s a nice post, and this happens to pretty much everyone, in my opinion. People just don’t realize it.

    By the way, that Pareto Principle application is all messed up. Please read this post: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/the-top-4-misapplications-of-the-8020-rule.html

    You just hit no.1 .

  18. Do people really drink the caramelized vegetable extract-containing carbonated sugar solution they call cola? It has to be one of the single most evil liquids in the world, especially given that it’s made with tribasic phosphoric acid as opposed to the doubly basic sulfuric…


  19. It hits too close to home for many bloggers and webmasters I would suspect! I see that my favorite breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner items are featured prominently in this post.

    But of the items pictured, Snickers is a lot healthier than the other sugary foods. Sugar-aside, it has nutritious value – that’s what I keep telling myself :) I don’t know what type of chocolate they use, but it may have some antioxidant properties too.

  20. Ninja Editor says: 12/08/2007 at 4:16 am

    The adverb “healthily” from the sentence “There is so much controversy about eating healthily” has got to go.

    Healthily is a mouthful of a word. Saying it out loud makes your tongue want to jump out of your mouth. My whole body convulsed when I read it! Such is the life of a ninja editor.

    Just an observation. Try reading the sentence again with “healthy” instead of “healthily.” There, isn’t that better? Sorry to be so nit-picky, but I cannot ignore my ninja training.

  21. I’m sorry, did you say something? I was drooling over the picture of the hamburgers.

    I think I will write an article about STDs and put pictures of sexy girls in it.

  22. I try to follow as much of a healthy diet as possible. It isn’t always possible but health comes first and an effort in good diet should be made. It’s an investment in yourself.

    But my morning coffee (no sugar, no milk) nobody takes away from me. It’s not so much the caffeine (albeit it also helps) but I really like the bitter taste in the morning.

  23. Guilty as charged, on at least 4 of the 7 points – tsk, tsk, should know better! You make a good case for the food-productivity link… something else to put on the New Years Resolution list…

  24. All this talk is making me hungry. I’m just as worried about the lack of exercise from blogging. Maybe someone will invent a computer station where you sit and peddle while you type. If you stop, the computer turns off and you lose the unpublished post you’ve been working on.

  25. I really fall into the trap of poor meal planning on the weekends. Between blogging, taking care of my home life, and being social, health kind of falls by the wayside. Thanks for the reminder to be more health conscious 7 days a week.

  26. Three things that have helped in my health:

    * 15 or 20 minutes of intense exercise daily
    * 5 or 6 full glasses of fresh water daily even if you are not thirsty.
    * Eat very little salt or even eliminate it completely if you can

    Also, going to the bed and getting up at the same hours on weekdays. It is really good for health (sleep routine).

  27. Fortunately, my wife cooks super vegetarian dishes, and stays away from processed foods as much as possible. So while I’m blogging, she cooking up the good stuff. And I love my Vitamix. I work with people who are not bloggers, but they are gamers. They fit this profile. Game addiction can be just as bad for your health as obsessive blogging. I say do everything in moderation, and walk whenever you can. Great post.

  28. The last time I stayed on the computer for 2 days straight (lots of online poker tournaments) I either had a seizure or dreamed I had a seizure.

    This post is just what I need to wake me up and realize that If I’m not careful I might wind up dead slumped over the computer someday.

  29. So the first question that comes to my mind… do productive bloggers eat better?

    Seriously, great post and it works here because minds do function better when fed well. And let’s face it, most of us are not out surfing health blogs. :)

  30. Well I do a lot of blogging but your blog post said it – Your body is “talking” to you.

    As I get older I’m getting more aware of how important it is to eat “healthy”. I do have this ritual where every month when I get my adsense payment I will order out just to congratulate myself on earning another adsense payment but I also do the “healthy” thing by trying to eat right! I also take multivitamins too.

    There have been times that I have been at my computer and my stomach starts to growl and I realize that I have to eat something. As I have gotten older I have come to realize that taking the time out to eat something will benefit me in the long run instead of “starving” at the computer and then looking for something quick and fast to eat.

  31. If you battle to know what is healthy for you probably the best thing to do is keep a food diary.

    On one side of the page you record EVERYTHING that goes into your mouth. On the other side how you feel – you can use a scale 1 for great to 5 for poor to make it easier.

    In this way you will learn what it is that works for you. You will be educated by your own body.

    The only thing is that if you go through withdrawl from some foods (coffee, sugar hits etc) you may feel a headache or shaky for a few days.

    If you have a life threatening health condition seek advice first.

    A food diary can be done by pretty much anyone. It is cheap and once you know what works for you then you don’t need to try and choose between all the conflicting advice. Keeping a food diary really is a great thing to do for your health.

  32. Good points, Lea. The best thing I have done for my health is to blog about it. Having just started my second health blog, it is my niche and, therefore, always on my mind. And I have to practice what I preach. The problem is, I tend to talk about it all time, probably driving those around me crazy with little health tidbits.

    As for that red wine, it is loaded with antioxidants (although not quite as much as pomegranate juice), so drink up (in moderation of course)!

  33. I have been a sweets and junk-food junkie for a LONG time now. It’s been a bad habit, I know. I’m not overweight, but I’m not in the best shape (mostly due to not walking, running and working out like I should).

    Recently, I cut all sweets, mountain dew, and junk food out of my diet. For 5 days all I did was drink water and eat healthy. I can tell you this: I was sluggish, tired, unproductive.

    As soon as I drank a pop and ate some oreo cookies, I was up the whole night, happy and energetic. I got more done in that night then I did the previous 5 days combined.

    Sometimes, you can’t cut your bad eating habits totally, but a well balanced diet and a lot of exercise would be a good start to ridding it.

    I’m learning now to cut 1-2 things at a time instead of ALL of it. Well see how well it works in the long run, but for now, I’m sticking to my diet of Mountain Dew, Flaming Hot Cheetos and Oreo cookies :)


  34. One thing- don’t ever go hungry. That sends your body into starvation mode and you’ll store everything you eat as fat. I’ve noticed over the years that most of the overweight people I’ve met skip breakfast and even eat a salad for lunch. Eat good food in the right amounts, and you’ll be 80% the way there.

  35. Haha…I love snickers…

  36. That is some of the most sensible and straightforward advice I have seen in a long time on the subject of eating well.

    I liked the way you brought a few blogging metaphors in there too. “ignoring these signs is like ignoring the comments your readers leave on your blog ”

    It’s excellent advice, but a sad sign of the times that we need to be reminded of such simple things in life.

  37. Hey everyone!

    Thank you all for some thought-provoking, useful and witty comments :-)

    I can’t take credit for the photos in the post – Darren added those…I thought they were a nice reminder of the temptations we all face daily!

    @Steven – one of the reasons I think health is such an important topic for bloggers – especially those wanting to make money from blogging – is that it isn’t a passive stream of income. Obviously as a blogger it can take a fair bit of hard work to make the pennies, cents & dollars.

    On a personal level, this is something I’ve become acutely aware of since being paid to blog over at Freelance Switch, Web Worker Daily etc. It’s not my bread and butter “job” but it’s an additional income stream for me – but it requires spending more and more time in front of the laptop which, so far this year, hasn’t proved to be the healthiest pursuit for me!

    @NInja Editor – thanks for pointing that out. No excuse, other than that I wrote this late at night (not following my own advice – ooops) and clearly didn’t edit very well :-(

    @Sallie May – that sounds like a brilliant idea! Bit like the new kiddie toys where they exercise whilst playing computer games.

    Have a healthy and fun weekend, y’all!

  38. Great post and very true.

    For those who are online a lot (like me) it’s hard to eat everything right.

    You have to have discipline and be able to plan your meals ahead of time so you don’t succumb to eating snacks to get you through the day.

    I like to keep a can of peanuts (usually almonds) at my desk so if I get a hunger pain I just munch on a few of them to get me through until my next meal.


  39. crap! and i was hoping my consistent diet of pork rinds and beer would help me become a better blogger! i try to manage my diet with 5 small meals a day, 3 parts protein, 2 parts fat, 2 part carbs. seems to work well to keep my energy up, but does little for my sex appeal :/

  40. Jon lol funny about the porkrinds. The visual was …motivating. :)

    As for me, seriously, I like keeping my body in shape far more than I like to blog. I do a short 15-20 walk in the mornings then a 1 hour workout/run/weightlift each night.
    Blogging is fun and I am addicted to it but I won’t be here to enjoy my blogs if I have a heart attack. And my husband won’t enjoy me if my backside is as broad as our front door.

  41. We eat healthy. Hubby and I started really doing it about a year ago because he had high blood pressure. He is now off all meds because we eat mostly unpackaged foods.

  42. Hey ! nice . Eating healthy will keep your mind fit, able to write more creative articles on your . I am going to eat healthy . bye :)

  43. Nice article! I would have added a strong suggestion to follow the New Food Pyramid vs. any type of “dieting”. But more of this type of positive “proper eating/nutrition” input for readers is needed!
    Best, Dr Dave at fat2trim.com

  44. For me, exercise is critical to clear thinking. I can get totally engrossed in what I’m writing for hours and days. One of the best things I do is instead of grabbing that mid-day caffeine, I take a brisk walk for about 30 minutes. The problem is dragging myself out of the chair to do it. The tick I learned is to set an alarm in my calendar for about 2pm. This does two things for me… 1) I see it every time I look at the to-do list.. because, if it’s not there, I’ll totally forget to to it. 2) It interrupts me with an alarm… AND I don’t turn off that alarm until I get up to walk (I may snooze it every 10 minutes for a couple of hours, but I won’t actually turn it OFF until I get up.

    Back from the walk I’m refreshed, energized and thinking clearly. I feel the 30 mins I take is more than made up in the productivity I gain!

  45. Vegan food all the way, baby.

    But here are two extremely important aspects to personal health, in my opinion, beyond diet:
    1. regular aerobic exercise
    2. regular exposure to sunlight

    Sadly, bloggers (myself included) tend to stay indoors a lot and don’t do a whole lot of exercise. You can have an excellent diet, but if you don’t get sunlight and exercise, you will suffer the consequences.

  46. Blogging from an outdoor cafe can satisfy the blogging and the sunlight needs at the same time :)

  47. Yeah, the whole idea of constantly reaching for crunchy, fat laden snacks while quenching the ensuing thirst with sugared fizzy goodness, doesn’t seem so appealing when your heart rate quickens to just up out of the chair! I definitely enjoyed reading this and actually seeing someone looking at the downside of the sedentary life we’re all in now.

  48. One of the best things I did was to buy a notebook so that I wasn’t tied to a desk all the time. Since I got it I’ve been able to sit in the living room with the windows open or even outside to get some sun. Wireless internet is a great thing :) But even just opening the blinds in my study can help out.

    My downfall on food is snacks, especially when I’m working on something for more than a few minutes because I tend to get bored and want an excuse to get up. Walking to the pantry and finding something to eat tends to be what I do when I get up. What I started forcing myself to do, although it’s becoming a habit now, is fill up a glass of water instead. That lets me get up and walk around for a minute, keeps me from eating something that I don’t need, and gets me drinking more water. Plus it makes me have to go to the bathroom more often which is another excuse to get up and walk around.

  49. This is a good post. I was actually expecting this post to be about healthy blogging, so I was surprised to find that it is actually about food and health. These are definitely some great reminders since if I were blogging full time I would definitely be sitting around the house and have very poor eating habits. Thanks for the post!

  50. I need to more plan, but I am lazy when it comes to food.

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