I’ve discovered that working from home – mostly from my computer chair – doesn’t burn too many calories, no matter how fast my fingers fly across the keyboard. And sitting, inactive (except for my fingers) in my office somehow makes me hungry. So there’s two strikes against me: exercising less and eating more. Not a good recipe for weight loss. So it came as no surprise when I stepped on the scale a couple months after I started working from home and saw a higher number than I expected. Gasp!
Here are 6 things I’ve found that help to keep the pounds from piling on:
1. Recognize different hunger pangs. As noted above, working makes me hungry! But, really, my “hunger” is probably more stress or bored related than a valid need for fuel. If I’m stuck in a certain spot of an article I’m writing, I reach for the chips to help me “think” or pass the time until I get a brainstorm. It’s important to recognize when true hunger strikes and not feed your emotions. Temporary pleasure is not worth the inevitable larger numbers on that scale.
2. Write it down. For those who don’t believe writing down what you eat makes a difference, I challenge you to try it for one week. If nothing else, you will be more aware of every chip, every spoonful of ice cream you’re putting in your mouth. Simply seeing it on paper is often enough to keep you, or put you back, on track.
3. Keep Healthy Snacks within reach. Keep a stash of healthy snacks in your desk drawer. Granola bars, a baggie full of wheat thins or dry cheerios, a banana or an orange…when good options are available, we’re more apt to make good choices. It’s when the only things at hand are chocolate bars and greasy chips that you run into a problem.
4. Water. Water. Water. Yes, we all know the health benefits of drinking eight glasses of water per day. But water is not only good for you it keeps you full so you’ll be less likely to reach for food. The recommended water intake is half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weight 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water each day. That’s only about three 24-ounce bottles per day. No problem! Keep three water bottles in a cooler next to your desk or fill up a 64-ounce water bottle in the morning and keep it nearby. Then start chugging!
5. Put a Lock on the Refrigerator Door. Just kidding (sort of). Unless you really lack discipline and a lock is necessary, simply pack your lunch every day like you’re leaving the house for work. Take your lunch bag with you to your office and only eat what you pack. Pretend the refrigerator and cupboards aren’t within twenty feet of your desk.
6. Take a Break. But not to rest, to exercise! I’ll admit, sometimes I intend on taking a break to exercise but I lose track of time and before I know it, it’s time to get the kids from school. But exercise is essential, particularly if you sit on a computer chair all day. Not only does it help you to keep the pounds off, it relieves stress, and gives you more energy to be more productive in your work. Even a half hour exercise video or on the treadmill is enough to keep your endorphins flowing and calories burning. If it helps, set a timer on your desk to remind you it’s time to take a break.
Controlling weight gain while working from home may be a challenge but it’s definitely not impossible. As you’re busy making your business a success, you can achieve victory over the scale, as well.