Working at home could see you sitting on the couch all day and snacking more than you should, so how do you keep the weight off? Here are 7 tips to get you thinking.

COVID-19 has drastically impacted work arrangements for businesses all over the world. While in some areas employees are slowly returning to the workplace, many workers are still based at home. Upsides including saved time and costs on the daily commute, being able to set up your own workspace, and possibly better work-life balance. 

However, telecommuting comes with a major temptation. The sameness of staying in the house all day along with the freedom to take frequent breaks could see you wandering into the kitchen for a snack or ordering food delivery more than you should. So how could people keep to a healthy weight? These 10 strategies could help.

1. Incorporate fitness breaks

It’s all too easy to stay at the desk and lose track of time. Not only does the body suffer for it; sitting too long could in certain cases impact mental function as well. For many people, regular breaks can boost well-being and prevent burnout. So incorporate regular breaks throughout the day and get up and get active. 

Set an alarm so you remember. Every two or three hours, get up and do five minutes of stretching or a short burst of exercising. Going short and sweet on physical activity could result in more effective weight maintenance than long training sessions, as long as people avoid compensatory eating.

2. Snack mindfully

Getting active is just one side of it; it’s essential to also watch one’s caloric intake. It’s fine to snack throughout the day as long as it’s in moderation. Discipline is essential for anyone looking to avoid putting on the pounds. However, habits and simple hacks reduce the need for jaw-clenching exertion. 

For example, try putting snacks into containers or plates — rather than eating from the bag — to stay aware of portion sizes. Choose trail mix, apple slices, frozen grapes, pretzels, and healthful snacking alternatives. Avoid wandering into the kitchen, and always plan your snacks.

3. Create a dedicated workout area

Most homes aren’t designed to be optimal for workout environments. As such, it’s ideal to go ahead and create a dedicated area with the right equipment, lighting, and elements. Putting aside space for getting active during breaks supports motivation. 

It shows commitment to avoiding sitting around all day. Make it a pleasant space in the living room, outdoor deck, or other available space. Add pot plants, weights, yoga mats, jumping rope, and some speakers.

4. Get quality sleep

Poor quality rest at night is commonly linked to gaining fat and a higher body mass index, so any strategy to keep the pounds off should include a sleep-improvement plan and good sleep hygiene. 

Poor resting patterns could lead to higher ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and declining leptin (the “fullness” hormone) levels. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine in the afternoon and night, and follow a winding-down routine to get the best quality rest at night.

5. Drink more water

Staying hydrated is good for the health, and what better than choosing fresh, clean H2O over a sugary drink? Drinking sufficient amounts of water is linked to losing the kilos, and in most cases, this could be due to the fact it encourages the burning of calories and higher resting energy expenditure.

For most people, good old H2O can suppress appetite, remove waste from the body, and promote good well-being. Keep a jug of water in the home office and add a squeeze of lemon or lime to change things up.

6. Find fun workouts

Exercising can be either fun or a drain on energy levels for those who dread exercising. It’s worthwhile to make an effort to ensure any exercise session is inspiring rather than boring. Luckily, there are many activities to choose from and so something for everyone. 

The bottom line is to do things you enjoy. Consider walking, jogging on the spot, or practicing some yoga moves. Others might prefer swimming, a lunchtime break at the local gym, or five minutes of skipping rope. An enjoyable activity tends to be effortless and motivating in itself.

7. Consider online classes

Lockdowns and social distancing could be making group activities impossible for many around the world. A lot of exercise enthusiasts are finding they can’t go out for a hiking session, hit the gym, or meet their friends for a bike ride. 

Fortunately, online classes offer a great solution to those who like the presence of a coach or prefer to go social when working out. Online classes for yoga, strength training, or aerobics provide structure and encourage everyone to stay motivated.

Final thoughts

When it comes down to it, healthy weight maintenance isn’t rocket science and it can be as simple as starting with a little discipline and awareness. Working at home does pose some extra challenges. It’s easy to wander into the kitchen and eat more frequently, whilst getting up from the computer and incorporating some activity requires a concerted effort. 

The secret could lie in simple things like drinking more water, setting an alarm for exercise breaks, and finding enjoyable activities. Prioritising staying active and eating well should also be part of the picture. After all, keeping to a healthful weight can support your performance as an employee, so it should prove to be worth the effort and time.