Many of us are now spending more time working from home. Chances are you’re feeling a little lost when it comes to figuring out how to make your old routine fit into your new norm. You’re likely noticing changes in your daily habits—the foods you choose, how often you eat, how often you move, when you head to sleep, and how you handle your emotions—all of which may impact your weight and overall wellness. As a Fitbit health coach, I am hearing more and more people ask, “How can I avoid gaining weight while working from home?”
Tips from a Fitbit health coach
Minimize the grazing. Stick to an eating schedule and make sure that you’re consuming wholesome, nutritious meals and snacks every three to five hours. This will ensure that you’re not over or under eating throughout the day. Chances are you’re also less active, so this may mean only three meals a day and no snacks, or simply eating smaller portions.
Eat mindfully. Add a serving of mindfulness to your meals and snacks. Research shows that by practicing more mindfulness you may be more likely to control your sweet tooth and regulate your blood sugar.
Perfect your mocktails. A few too many virtual happy hours? Now is the perfect time to try a mocktail! No one has to know there’s no alcohol in that drink, and you can still have fun from your couch while keeping calories in check. Consider trying one of these tiki-themed mocktails!
Enjoy takeout meals with a plan. You can still order in, just don’t go overboard on the greasy fried food, and try not to make it a nightly occurrence. Try to create a healthy plate—that means adding veggies to your order!—and pack away any extras or leftovers before you eat.
Create a healthier food environment. Keep healthy foods (whole grains, fruits and veggies, lean protein, and healthy fats) at the top of your grocery list. When you get home from the store, chop up your fruits and veggies and have them at eye-level in the fridge. That way, you’re more likely to reach for those when you need a quick snack.
Move throughout the day. All this time at home makes you realize how much you move around during the day, from heading to work and going to the store to running errands and dinner dates with friends. With most of that movement no longer possible, be sure to give your body regular breaks and bump your step count back up by turning on reminders to move. Try dancing in the living room with obé, going up and down the stairs, or walking to the mailbox and back.
Harness that old commute time. Without the commute, now is the time to prioritize your sleep. New research suggests that playing ‘catch-up’ on the weekends may actually increase your risk of weight gain. Check out our tips for getting a good night’s sleep for simple ways to help you achieve the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep.
Seek support from your community! If you’re working from home with others, let them know what you need: “I need to keep the cookies downstairs” or “I’m looking for someone to hold me accountable to get out for a walk every day.” If you’re flying solo, connect with friends, family, or colleagues who can support you by text, video calls, or join you in a game of Get Fit Bingo with Fitbit Premium.
If at the end of your work from home tenure, your weight has gone up and you haven’t reached your health goals, be gentle with yourself. You are not alone. You are not your weight. Now dust yourself off, take note of other things that you are grateful for during this time, and be on your way!
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.