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Writing and Cravings

Guilty as charged!

When you are spending long hours behind your computer screen to write your dissertation or your next paper, chances are high that you start to get those cravings to snack on something.

Sugary and fatty snacks can wreak havoc on your energy levels and your overall health and well-being.

But what should you do about those cravings you get while writing? I mean, you really get hungry and everything.

The problem itself are not the cravings. They are a sign you’ve already passed a threshold. You are already so hungry that you need a quick fix.

To avoid this problem, you can do the following:

1. Take regular breaks

When your body is so hungry and exhausted that it starts begging for a quick shot of sugar, it typically means you have been working incessantly for the past few hours.

Schedule regular five minute breaks throughout your days – and I mean: real breaks, surfing the internet does not count! Get up from your chair, gaze out of the window, savor a cup of tea, do some stretches – you get the picture.

2. Honor your lunch

Processed carbs, like pasta and bread result in a peak in your blood sugar levels, then a crash.
You might think of lunch as a quick run to the food court. Even worse, you might just shove down whatever while you keep on working.

Try having a balanced lunch instead: lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fat. Chances are very high you’ll avoid that dip in the afternoon and won’t be craving for a sugary treat to bump your energy up again (and then crash again).

3. Track your cravings

Do you have a fixed time of the day when you get a craving? Somewhere around 3pm for example? Start tracking when your cravings occurs (just jot down a note in Evernote, for example), and analyze your cravings after tracking these for some time.

If your cravings happen at a fixed time during the day, have a break 30 minutes earlier and eat a fruit or a yoghurt in peace. Craving tackled!

4. Have alternatives ready

So if all else fails, and you still have the urge to shove something into your mouth while writing, then make sure you have snacks available in your office – healthy snacks. At least you don’t need a run on the vending machine then. Good snacks for during writing are fruits (although you might end up spilling juice over your keyboard), dried fruits and nuts.

Do you get major cravings when writing for a long time? Do you take a break, or do you stuff something into your mouth?

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