After working remotely for a while, it’s not unusual to discover that your favorite “going out” pants don’t quite fit like they used to. Being closer to the fridge and farther away from accountability is a recipe for weight loss disaster.
Luckily, it’s not too hard to get back on track with a bit of dedication and determination. Here are a few simple tricks to avoid gaining weight while working from home.
1. Stick to a Schedule
Once working remotely, many people find flextime or even a compressed workweek schedule available to them. 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 quick path to weight gain. It’s far too easy not to even realize just how many calories you have consumed when you are not conscious of what’s going into your stomach. It’s so essential in so many aspects to set a work from home schedule. And not just for eating, but also for sleeping. Lack of sleep can negatively impact your metabolism.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
If you have ever been on any diet, you likely know it’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. And with your newly found work-at-home 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 make up for it, but you also may not be performing at optimum levels either.
There are so many neat little tricks and triggers to help us drink more water. You can go as old skool as filling a gallon jug of water half full each morning and making sure it’s finished by day’s end. Or you can use a hydration app or smart water bottle. As with anything, it’s not necessarily the method that matters but 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 squeeze in 30 or 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 sticking to a work schedule is important, and block scheduling works. It may take a week or two to figure out whether you perform best 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 enjoyable as it needs to be! You don’t necessarily have to pump iron to get fit if you don’t like it. Instead, experiment with different types of workouts or even dance to get your heart rate up and increase your stamina.
4. Step Away From Your Desk to Eat
Studies also show that being mindful of your eating can have positive effects. That’s hard to accomplish if you are running the mouse with one hand and a fork in the other.
Your best bet is to not eat in your workspace at all. This will really help you be mindful of how food looks, tastes, and feels and how much you are actually eating. It will also be less easy to emotionally overeat if you remove yourself from a potential source of stress.
5. No Elastic Waistbands
One of the reasons you may not have noticed that your favorite jeans don’t fit like they used to is because you haven’t had them on in so long. Turns out, yoga pants are not the best remote work attire. Those elastic waistbands and stretch pants can make it hard to notice changes to your figure.
6. Plan Your Meals in Advance
I have come to love meal planning on so 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 I had to be mindful of what I would be making for dinner throughout the week, along with breakfasts, lunches and even snacks.
I work best with pen and paper. Therefore, finding a free printable weekly planner works best for me. If you work best digitally, you may find an app or online program is best for you.
You can also take things one step further. Instead of cooking every day, do your meal prep once or twice a week. This will also help you with portion control as your meals will be in individual containers, ready to grab and heat at mealtime. This can help you curb that mindless munching.
7. Find an Accountability Buddy
One of the biggest downfalls of working remotely is isolation. Isolation = lack of accountability. You might have initially been excited that you will no longer have those tempting invites to eat out, but now you may be finding that there are also no workmates to remind you to walk during your breaks or swap salad recipes with.
There are plenty of apps out there that will help you track your exercise and food intake. If that doesn’t work for you, find an in-person option, whether that be a diet buddy or a local weight loss group. You may even want to check out an app that offers personal coaching like Noom.