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Food & Fitness: The Writing Diet November 29, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.

IMGP4187After I started writing on a regular basis, I lost 20 pounds with no effort at all.

Those twenty pounds (which were the ugly ones) seemed to melt away as I spent more time at the keyboard and less time in the kitchen.

I’d be writing, and my stomach would speak up.

“G~R~O~W~L.  I’m hungry.”

“OK, I’ll feed you in a minute.  Just let me finish this first.”

“G~R~O~W~W~W~L~L~L~L.  I mean it, I’m hungry.”

“Yes, I heard you.  Here’s a swig of coffee.  I’ll get you something to eat in a few minutes.”

The weight fell away, week after week, because I’d found something I enjoyed doing more than transferring the contents of the refrigerator into my ever expanding belly.

Don’t worry.  I wasn’t starving myself.  Far from it.

I lost the weight at a healthy rate of 2 pounds a month (or 1/2 a pound a week).

Some caloric math: 3500 calories = 1 pound.

If you are losing a pound a week, you are burning 500 calories more a day than you are eating.

Losing at half that rate meant I was consuming 250 calories a day less than needed to maintain my previous girth.

Almost anyone can cut 250 calories a day with barely a growl or grumble of protest from the tummy.

Like the tortoise, slow and steady wins the race.  A quick jack-rabbit start may motivate us . . . but if we expect to lose 5 pounds every week, we are apt to become discouraged.

Instead, look at what you have been eating and cut out 250 non-nutritious calories a day ~ the donuts, cookies, ice cream, chips, and sodas that don’t fill you up anyway.

Then, replace those calories with foods filled with fiber that do fill you up:  fruits, veggies, whole grains, with some nuts and popcorn thrown in when you need a crunchy treat.

Quote to Ponder:  Nothing tastes as good as being “fit” feels!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Holiday Health Made Simple * Holiday Diet Tips * Holiday Parties * Top 10 Ways to Keep the Weight OFF * A Month of Meatless Meals


1. gitikapartington - November 29, 2011

since I started my blog a day i have lost about 18 pounds in weight, possibly for the same reasons… much too interested in something else to eat ha ha ! x
lots more carrot sticks and hummous in my diet…no sugar or gluten

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

Awesome! Sounds like your experience has been similar to mine. I still love to eat . . . but I hate getting potato chip grease on my keyboard. 😛

2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - November 29, 2011

That’s great, Nancy. A lot of people gain weight working at home. So I’ve heard anyway…

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

Thanks, Greg. It probably depends on whether they’re “working” on something that is NOT appealing . . . or “playing” at something that is. 😉

3. sweetopiagirl - November 29, 2011

Reblogged this on inspiredweightloss.

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

Looks like you reblogged about 30 articles today. You must be passionate about losing weight. 😀

4. granny19471947 - November 29, 2011

You’ve been reading my post,haven’t you?
I will wait for the weight to drop off.

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

I haven’t seen your last post . . . yet. Will be around shortly.

5. You Were Born To Succeed - November 29, 2011

I can relate to the growling of your stomach as you tell it to wait. I’ve been losing weight, also, but by a different strategy. My growling stomach was getting too much of what it wanted (eventually). I decided to have a veggie smoothie instead of lunch every day, and that’s working. Plus, I feel better. Still working on the discipline of exercising every day. I waver on that.

Keep up the good work. I love reading your blog.

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

Thanks, Nancy. A veggie smoothie for lunch every day is a great idea. When I’m not in the mood to “exercise” I “move to the music” by dancing. 😀

6. Booksphotographsandartwork - November 29, 2011

My stomach seems to always be growling and has eyes of it’s own. Technically I am only 15 pounds overweight but it feels like a lot more. I go through cycles of craving certain foods so it’s difficult to lose weight. You do have some good tips that I will continue to try.

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

I try to have lots of healthy snacks around (fruit, veggies, whole wheat crackers, nuts). If I’m hungry, they appeal to me. If I’m “bored,” they don’t . . .

At that point, I know that it’s appetite NOT hunger knocking at the door. 😉

7. kateshrewsday - November 29, 2011

Blogging stops me running so much so I cannot claim the same health benefits! Must start running again…

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

I would figure that all the walking you do with Macauley would keep you fit as a fiddle, Kate.

I swim, walk, ride bikes, and dance. I don’t run anymore. My knees asked me to STOP. 😀

8. Piglet in Portugal - November 29, 2011

You are right if we have something to ocupy our minds other than food we raid the store cupboard less often.

Well done on your 20lb weight loss! youv’e typed your fingers to the bone!

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

Thanks, PiP! I tend to nibble most in the evening, after dinner, IF we’re watching TV or a movie. At those times, my appetite kicks into high gear and I crave salty snacks . . . and chocolate.

9. Just A Smidgen - November 29, 2011

Very wise advice indeed, I do find that I am capable of a one-handed typing whilst holding a muffin in the other, though… shhhh, no one’s to know!

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

If I’m writing something that appeals to me more than food, I don’t want to stop to get anything to eat. If I’m “bored,” I definitely find time for food.

10. sufilight - November 29, 2011

Congrats on your weigh loss. Looks like you created a healthy new habit with writing instead of eating munchies to distract yourself. I like to keep red juicy grapes on the kitchen counter so whenever I want to munch I pick up a few grapes and I feel satisfied. I also keep healthy snacks in my pantry such as almonds in 100 calories packs. However, I still need to make changes with my diet, I eat too much meat and not enough veggies.

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

Good habits, Marie. I keep nuts in the pantry and grapes in the refrigerator when I want to munch on something.

If you need any ideas for meatless meals, there’s a link up there. I started with dishes I loved (like chicken curry), swapped out the meat, and added in extra veggies.

11. barb19 - November 29, 2011

Congratulations on losing so much weight Nancy, and what a way to do it! The same happens to me – tummy growls at me to feed it and I say, “In a minute, just let me finish this post”! I wish I could say I’ve lost 20 pounds but I can’t; must be doing something wrong – not enough exercise to balance out the sitting around in my case!

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

If we exercise enough to burn 100 calories a day . . . . we would lose 10 pounds in a year! Without changing our diet at all.

Adding a 20 minute walk or bike ride to the day works wonders.

12. Jackie Paulson (Author) - November 29, 2011

I have a new medication that makes me stop eating so much, and calm down. I also drink lots of water.

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

Water is great for keeping hydrated . . . and for filling us up. Glad the new meds are working for you.

13. suzicate - November 29, 2011

I hate diets…however this is one I can live with!

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

I probably should have called it the “I love my life” diet . . . since doing anything we love (except eating) makes us less inclined to overeat. 😉

14. Patricia - November 29, 2011

Those 20 pounds of yours are not lost. They came to live with me. That’s how much I have gained since I started blogging.

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

Thanks for adopting them, Patricia! 😉

If blogging/writing “caused” me to gain weight, I would be tempted to cut back on my keyboard time . . . especially around the holidays.

I think it really helps that I almost never eat while writing. Doing one thing at a time makes me more mindful about my choices.

15. jannatwrites - November 29, 2011

Great easy-to-implement tips here. I’ve found that my munching happens at work. When I work from home, I don’t have nearly the urge to snack. Very strange.

Where I work, we get tons of holiday goodies sent to the office, so I’m going to need a willpower of steel to skip the Ghiradelli chocolates that are sure to show up. (This is the perfect place to shave off the 250 ’empty’ calories.)

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

I worked with lots of people who didn’t “count the calories” consumed at work. If they were “bored” or feeling “trapped” . . . they ate. Maybe you’re too busy/happy/fulfilled at home to snack?

Ghiradelli chocolate . . . empty calories? Not in my diet manifesto. Chocolate = the happiness drug. 😀

16. bluebee - November 29, 2011

You’re right, Nancy : absolutely nothing beats feeling fit.

I’d advise anyone who can’t seem to lose weight even though they think they are cutting down to keep a food diary – it tells a whole different story! 😉

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

So true. It’s the nibbles of this, that, and the other thing that help us to pack on the pounds as we get older. Writing down every bite can be an eye opening exercise to give us insights into WHEN, WHAT, and WHY we eat.

17. Cindy - November 29, 2011

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I am chugging along and am pleased to say I have gained 1.5kgs 🙂

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

Yay! That’s great, Cin.

18. Nancy Curteman - November 29, 2011

Sounds like the keyboard is the next great exercise machine and writing is the next great diet fad.

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

Exactly! For some of us at least. 😀

19. souldipper - November 30, 2011

Good on ya, Nancy! The same thing has happened for me. I’m eating “out” less and, as you described, putting off the snack.

In fact, even the snacks are healthy. I have to give myself a good kick about walking in the early morning as the weather gets colder. But when I feel like a slug, it’s THE best tonic in the world.

My DNA means I won’t be svelte, but my clothes are waaaay more comfie now.

nrhatch - November 30, 2011

That’s the ticket, Amy. A little less “intake” (food) and a bit more “output” (exercise) makes our clothes feel loose and comfy rather than tight or snug.

That feeling of “lighteness” motivates me to keep going more than the number on the scale.

20. Tilly Bud - November 30, 2011

I wish that worked for me. I love blogging but I love food more 😦

nrhatch - November 30, 2011

Even cutting out 100 calories a days makes a big difference in the “bottom” line at the end of the year. 😉

100 x 365 = 36500 / 3500 = 10.4 pounds (4.5 kgs.) lighter in load after 12 months. 😀

And 100 calories is easy to eliminate . . . a slice of toast or a pat of butter or 6 oz. of soda.

Tilly Bud - December 1, 2011

Hmm…food for thought… 🙂

21. adeeyoyo - November 30, 2011

That’s wonderful, Nancy. I seem to stay much the same give or take 2 kgs.

nrhatch - November 30, 2011

That’s a good range. I expect many people at a healthy weight fluctuate in a 3-5 pound (1.5-2.5 kgs.) range. Some of that range is water retention / elimination after eating salty foods.

When I’m happily engaged in what I’m doing, my weight drops. When I’m not as happy (or my hands are idle), I nibble more and the weight creeps up.

22. Andra Watkins - November 30, 2011

I love writing, and MTM loves to cook. I’m like Denise. I stay the same, give or take a bit here or there.

nrhatch - November 30, 2011

Since moving to FL, my weight hasn’t fluctuated much. I lost 20 pounds in 2008 and it’s stayed away. yay! 😉

23. thirdhandart - November 30, 2011

Congratulations Nancy! You found your passion, blogging, and you lost weight in the process. Makes me want to try the “I love my life” diet.
BTW, you’re very good at blogging.

nrhatch - November 30, 2011

Thanks! Writing every day for the past 4 years has been great for my mood and my weight. Moving to FL 3 years ago further improved my mood . . . because I really disliked cold wintry weather. 😎

24. Joanne - November 30, 2011

We may not all have the same methods, but it seems as though everyone is raising their awareness of healthy living. Personally, after having spent years doing the yo-yo thing ~ especially after each of my five pregnancies ~ I have realized the power of visualization along with getting back to basics. It takes a commitment to lifestyle change ~ more than counting calories ~ to take it off and keep it off.

Simply cutting out preservatives by making meals from scratch and using natural ingredients can produce huge results in weight loss and fitness. I’m always researching the benefits of spices and herbs that do more than just flavor foods. Cayenne and chili peppers help boost metabolism. Cinnamon~ and not just a sprinkle ~ has marvelous health benefits, too.

And as for the writing ~ it’s the passion of creating that satisfies the human spirit and keeps us from trying to fill voids with excessive indulgences. Taking up any creative hobby is a healthy way to curb the appetites… For me, it’s singing, songwriting, dancing, sewing and baking ~ and only baking when I can entertain others to share the food with.

Here’s to healthier and improved versions of all of us…! 😀

nrhatch - December 1, 2011

I like the idea of making meals from scratch . . . it reminds us that food should nourish our bodies so we are less inclined to reach for donuts and pastries.

Creative living works to satisfy our cravings and hunger for fulfillment. When we find the right mix, we are less inclined to stuff our faces and expand our waistlines. 😉

Your hobbies are great for living from the heart.

25. LittleMissVix - December 1, 2011

Woo, I love that writing helped you lose some weight, writing is proven to be good for your health 😉

nrhatch - December 1, 2011

I believe writing has been good for me ~ intellectually, emotionally, creatively, and spiritually.

Standing alone, it probably isn’t helping me physically . . . but when I’m happier, I move around more. I just have to remember to . . . Step Away From The Keyboard. 😉

26. spilledinkguy - December 1, 2011

That’s wonderful Nancy! CONGRATULATIONS!
I’ve pretty much always had the opposite problem.
BUT any day now my neck will be as big as my head and I’ll be bench pressing small cars. Yup. It’s gonna happen. Any. Day. Now.

nrhatch - December 1, 2011

Bwahaha! I see your big neck bench pressing Matchbox Cars . . . but not Mini Coopers. 😛

27. SidevieW - December 1, 2011

Didn’t work for me.

I’ve had a bout of upset insides (used to be called spastic colon now called IBS) and now am stuck on ‘stodge’ for a while. I wandered in the supermarket yesterday, eyeing out seeded wholewheat rolls and wishing!

Oh well soon enough, and I’ll have all the nice veggies allowed again, and a little spice with them.

nrhatch - December 1, 2011

Hope your insides improve quickly, Sidey. Being on a restricted diet isn’t much FUN.

28. Perfecting Motherhood - December 2, 2011

Good for you! Many people who work at home or sit at a desk the whole day gain weight. I actually try to eat when I’m alone at home because I don’t have a lot of time to do so with the kids around. It’s my quiet moment to myself and I cherish that. And no, I’m not fat!

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

I tend to eat cold cereal or salads when BFF isn’t here for meals. They’re quick, easy, filling . . . and only one bowl to wash. 😀

29. Tammy - December 2, 2011

I’m with Kate, Nancy. I”ve found blogging to have the opposite effect – something I have to work out this year.

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

Good luck. I could drop a few more pounds myself. I hoped they would disappear like the first 20. They haven’t. I think they like living in Florida. 😉

When the weather isn’t conducive to going out . . . I like to DANCE with a whirligig in the living room. 😀

30. Gobetween - December 2, 2011

I am glad you had positive results. I would rather blog than go to gym 🙂

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

I like going to my water aerobics class twice a week. Other than that, I prefer to walk, bike, or dance on my own or with BFF. Gyms don’t appeal to me at all.

31. Team Oyeniyi - December 2, 2011

I must, I must, I must reduce my bust…………..

nrhatch - December 2, 2011

Bwahahaha! There are so many out there who are attempting just the opposite . . . chanting to enhance their measurements. 😉

32. ElizOF - December 7, 2011

Good for you on your weight loss. I’ve always loved exercise and dance but fell off the track after foot surgery three years ago. I jumped right back in this fall with zeal and the dividends are huge. I don’t ever want to be sedentary again. Slow and steady is a good thing… and a bit of speedy ain’t bad either. 😉

nrhatch - December 7, 2011

As King Julian would sing, “I like to move it, move it.” 😀

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