Are you gaining weight when working from home and wondering why and how to avoid it? This post is for you!
Working from home has become the norm for a lot of people around the world in recent years. Many of us enjoy the freedom and flexible schedules that accompany working remotely. Having no boss looking over your shoulder and spending time with family is a welcome bonus.
Unfortunately, even as you enjoy the benefits of working from home, there are downsides to it. The most common challenge is that you may gain weight when working from home due to several factors.
In this article, we shall discuss the reasons why you gain weight when working from home and how you can avoid or stop it. Read on…
Why You Gain Weight When Working from Home
- Easy access to food
Under ‘normal’ conditions, you would report to your workplace, and would probably only eat during your break time and at lunch. Sometimes, you could even skip meals due to lack of time or money for lunch.
The reason why you gain weight when working from home is that you have easy access to food. The kitchen is just a few steps away from your designated work area, and without even realizing it, you find yourself taking breaks from work and heading to the fridge or your stash of junk food.
- No judgement
At the office, your colleagues might not necessarily be your friends; hence, you would have to watch what and how much you eat while dining with them. You would most likely choose healthier foods to fit in and avoid being judged.
While working from home, however, you probably live alone or with family and friends around whom you feel comfortable eating whatever you want and as much or as often as you want.
The reason why you gain weight when working from home could be that there is no judgment for your food choices or eating habits.
You don’t feel embarrassed or judged when you go for a second serving or give in to temptation and eat unhealthy foods, too often, or too much when you are alone or surrounded by family and friends during meals.
Working from home is not all fun and games. It is actually not that different from the office, except, it could be worse!
Your employers expect you to attend the regular Zoom meetings, give reports, meet deadlines, and bring in results. This can make you feel stressed and anxious.
On top of having to deal with that, if you are a parent, you have the added burden and distraction of family and kids at home. All this can become overwhelming for you and affect your productivity while working from home.
Unfortunately, many people turn to food to cope with the pressure and stress of having so many responsibilities, which could explain why you gain weight when working from home.
You eat when frustrated by a difficult task at work. You turn to your comfort food when your family tries your patience.
Emotional eating becomes an escape from all these stressful situations as you try to maintain a work-life balance. But then you end up gaining excess weight from overeating.
Related Article: How What You Eat Affects Your Mental Health
- Social influences
One of the reasons why you gain weight when working from home could be the pressure and influence from the people around you, that is, your family or roommates.
For instance, if your parents or other people live with you, they might be the ones encouraging your unhealthy eating habits. They could bring you some snacks and other refreshments while you work, which you may feel guilty to decline, seeing as they put effort into it.
Additionally, you can be tempted to take a snack just because someone else is having some, thus resulting in your gaining weight and becoming fat when working from home.
Related Article: 8 Factors That Affect Weight Besides Diet
- Lack of time management skills
While working from home, whether self-employed or working for someone else, you probably have the freedom to start and stop working at any time you wish as long as you attend meetings, meet deadlines, and achieve your targets at the end of the day/month.
If you have no proper work plan and no boss looking over your shoulder, you may find yourself procrastinating until the last minute to finish your assigned tasks; thereby spending the rest of the time bored with nothing to do.
Boredom is one of the most common reasons why you gain weight while working from home as you may turn to binge eating.
There is nothing much to occupy your mind with, which could make you eat mindlessly as you binge-watch TV shows, scroll on social media, or waste time doing other things instead of your work tasks.
To make it worse, you might have to work during your off hours to make up for the time wasted doing non-work-related activities, thus, encroaching on time you should spend with family, preparing healthy foods, or exercising.
With no time to do any physical activities, it is no surprise that you are gaining weight while working from home.
If you wish to maintain a work-life balance, time management is key. You have to organize and plan your tasks according to their order of priority and importance to start a new routine and make it the new normal.
- A sedentary lifestyle
The work-from-home life involves a lot of sitting and little to no physical activity, especially for those whose jobs involve using computers or phones all day.
When you are not sitting at the desk, couch, or on your bed doing work tasks that don’t require much physical movement, you are probably watching TV, using your phone, playing video games, sleeping, or eating.
Sedentary behavior is one of the main reasons why you gain weight when working from home.
To lose the excess weight you may have gained or avoid becoming fat when working from home, incorporate some physical exercise into your daily routine and set meal times so you don’t eat mindlessly.
Take breaks and get out of the house every once in a while to go for a walk or play with your pets. It will also be good for your overall health for you to move around even while working.
- No access to the gym
Having no access to the gym may be the reason why you are gaining weight when working from home, especially if you live in a remote part of the country, can’t afford a membership subscription, or can’t leave the house due to responsibilities or illness.
It is also a lot easier to pass by the gym on your way home from work than to get ready and leave the house to go. Furthermore, you may have membership to the same gym as your colleagues, which can motivate you to exercise regularly.
Having no easy access to the gym is the perfect excuse to avoid being physically active, which could lead to you getting fat while working from home.
But it is just that: an excuse!
Workouts are not confined to the gym. You can do most exercises safely in the comfort of your home, and you don’t have to own any expensive equipment to do them.
You could avoid gaining weight when working from home by using the readily available items and features in nature around your home to exercise, for example, the trees, rocks, trails, and beaches.
If you can afford to, you can also create your own equipped home gym and exercise regularly in it to avoid or stop gaining weight when working remotely.
Related Article: 6 Unusual Tips to Help You Lose Weight
- Spending too much time in pajamas
Your choice of clothes could be the reason why you gain weight when working from home.
Since you are working from home, there is no pressure on what to wear to work because no one other than yourself (if you live alone) or your family will see you.
It is so easy for you to roll out of bed in the morning, have breakfast, and start working immediately in your pajamas. You don’t have to wear suits, skinny jeans, or that cute tight dress to go to a function.
It is no surprise then that you could be gradually gaining weight without noticing it while working from home.
Pajamas are loose-fitting, and most usually have drawstring pants or elastic waists that will accommodate you at any size. Since you don’t gain weight overnight, the subtle changes to your body might be unnoticeable at first, until the day you decide to wear some of your old clothes or step on a weighing scale.
Working in your PJs is too comfortable and keeps you in a mental state of being relaxed at home and lazy. You will find yourself losing focus and wandering around the house, and most likely ending up in the kitchen.
To avoid weight gain when working from home, ensure you shower and dress up in order to stay in a professional mental state every workday. You don’t have to be fancy; even jeans and a T-shirt will do. Just don’t work in your PJs.
How to Avoid Gaining Weight When Working from Home
- Create and stick to a WFH schedule, including meal times
- Don’t buy unhealthy snacks
- Set aside time for exercise, even if it is just simple workouts
- Keep snacks out of sight in the vicinity of your work area and kitchen
- Say ‘No’ to people who encourage unhealthy eating habits
- Dress up for work instead of working in pajamas, sweats, or yoga pants
- Learn to differentiate between physical and emotional hunger to avoid stress eating
- Keep yourself busy to avoid boredom eating while working from home
- Stay hydrated to avoid mistaking thirst for hunger
- Prepare healthy meals at home instead of ordering takeout
The Bottom Line
Working from home is not an excuse not to take care of yourself. It is still important to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Now that you know the reasons why you gain weight when working from home, it is time to take the necessary actions to prevent it or lose the excess you have added.
Eating a healthy diet, being physically active, developing self-control and self-discipline, not working in loose or stretchy clothes, sticking to a schedule, and saying no to negative social influences are some of the best ways to avoid gaining weight when working from home.
Dress up even though you have no place to go other than around the house. Also, avoid overeating and any other bad habits that could be the reasons why you are gaining weight when working from home. Your health and well-being should always be a priority.
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