After working remotely for a while, it’s not uncommon to find that your favorite “going out” pants no longer fit the way they used to. Being closer to the fridge and further away from responsibility is a recipe for weight loss disaster.
Fortunately, it’s not too hard to get back on track with a little dedication and determination. Here are some simple tricks to avoid gaining weight while working from home.
1. Stick to a schedule
Once working remotely, many people find a flexible schedule or even a compressed work week available. While this can be great for work-life balance, it can wreak havoc on your internal clock and lead to irregular eating habits.
It’s no surprise that grazing all day is a fast path to weight gain. It’s too easy to not even realize how many calories you’ve consumed when you’re not aware of what’s going on in your stomach. It is so essential in many ways to establish a work from home schedule. And not just to eat, but also to sleep. Lack of sleep can negatively affect impact your metabolism.
2. Drink lots of water
If you’ve ever been on a diet, you probably know that it’s easy to confuse thirst for hunger. And with your new home work zone and increased productivity, you may not be getting enough water. As a result of dehydration, you may not only be consuming more calories to compensate, but you may also not be performing at optimal levels.
There are so many little tricks and triggers to help us drink more water. You can go old school like filling a gallon jug of water halfway each morning and making sure it’s finished at the end of the day. Or you can use a hydration app or smart water bottle. As with anything, it’s not necessarily the method that matters, it’s that you stick with it.
3. Make movement a priority (and fun)
One of my favorite quotes to remember when it comes to exercise is that you have just as many hours in the day as everyone else. If they can get in 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day, so can you. This is especially true if working remotely means you no longer have a long commute.
This is another reason why sticking to a work schedule is important, and block scheduling works. It may take a week or two to determine if you perform better physically in the morning, afternoon, or evening, but then work with your body when it comes to planning exercise into your routine.
And make it as nice as it should be! You don’t necessarily have to pump iron to get in shape if you don’t like it. Instead, experiment with different types of exercises or even dance to get your heart rate up and build your stamina.
4. Step away from your desk to eat
Studies also show that being aware of your diet can have positive effects. That’s hard to achieve if you’re running the mouse in one hand and a fork in the other.
The best thing you can do is not eat in your work space. This will really help you to be aware of how the food looks, tastes and feels and how much you are actually eating. It will also be less easy to overeat emotionally if you move away from a potential source of stress.
5. No elastic waistbands
One of the reasons why you may not have noticed that your favorite jeans don’t fit you the way they used to is because you haven’t worn them in a long time. As it turns out, yoga pants aren’t the best remote work attire. Those elastic waistbands and stretchy pants can make it hard to notice changes in your figure.
6. Plan your meals in advance
I have come to love meal planning on many levels. What started out as a way to eliminate extra trips to the store each week and save money also led to better eating habits, as you had to be mindful of what you would be making for dinner throughout the week, along with breakfasts, lunches, and even snacks. .
I work best with pencil and paper. So finding a free printable weekly planner works best for me. If you work better digitally, you may find an app or online program that’s best for you.
You can also take things one step further. Instead of cooking every day, prepare your food once or twice a week. This will also help with portion control, since your meals will be in individual containers, ready to eat and heat up when it’s time to eat. This can help you curb that mindless chewing.
7. Find an accountability partner
One of the biggest downsides to working remotely is the isolation. Isolation = lack of accountability. At first you may have been thrilled that you won’t have those tempting invitations to eat out anymore, but now you may find that there are also no coworkers to remind you to walk during your breaks or swap salad recipes.
There are many apps that will help you track your exercise and food intake. If that doesn’t work for you, find an in-person option, either a fellow dieter or a local weight loss group. You might even want to check out an app that offers personal advice like Noom.