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Jul 30, 2011

How Writing Daily Can Help You Lose Weight

Writing daily can help you lose weight.

No, I am totally serious.

I know it seems counter-intuitive, because, after all, you are sitting around on your buhunkus, and, if you are like me, tempted to eat snacks while you write.

But writing each day takes willpower. Learning to discipline yourself to write can have a positive impact on the rest of your life.

Willpower is like a muscle. This has a downside and an upside. The downside is that it can become exhausted, which means that you can find yourself more susceptible to temptation. The upside is that by exercising your will every day--for instance, by writing daily, if you a writer--you can improve not just your ability to write, but also strengthen you willpower in other areas, like dieting.

Heidi Halvorson, a researcher on willpower, writes:
So if you want to build more willpower, start by picking an activity (or avoiding one) that fits with your life and your goals – anything that requires you to override an impulse or desire again and again, and add this activity to your daily routine. It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier over time if you hang in there, because your capacity for self-control will grow.

She also suggests that you shouldn't try to do two will-power intensive activities at the same time. For me, this means that I need to have healthy snacks on hand while I write, so that my urge to nosh'n'type won't lead me to the cookie jar.

Heidi Grant Halvorson has a great book that combines the latest data from scientific studies with practical advice on how to make this work for you.

Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals

5 comments:

KLo said...

I think you're absolutely right.

I've been making a major effort to discipline my writing, and it's going along with a weight loss/exercise epiphany ... and a new haircut :-)

Most writers thrive on routine, and that's the best way to incorporate organized weight loss (not to mention exercise) into your life.

Thanks for sharing :-)

Charmaine Clancy said...

Good idea to start with goals that will give you experience with success. Writing and health might link - I know when I go through my rare bouts of exercise, my mind is clearer and more switched on. Also helps us breathe better which helps make your brain work much more betterera.

James Garcia Jr said...

Hmmm? I didn't start gaining a lot of weight until I started pressing my nose against this laptop monitor everyday! Lol!
Actually, I think turning 42 probably had more to do with that!

-Jimmy

Diandra said...

I'd still leave out the snacking while writing, or only put some fruit and vegetable pieces on a plate. And don't forget the water bottle! ^^

Kris said...

I heard that doing some handwriting can reduce sweating and I believe that writing is deeply cathartic and a good release for a lot of tension. I'm trying to discipline myself more in the writing area and just enjoying typing up a storm and getting a possible workout to boot.