Scott Adams perfectly captures one of the greatest challenges of working from home in his comic strip Dilbert. “Ahhh,” says Alice. “It’s going to be a glorious day of telecommuting. There’s nothing to distract me. It’s just me … and my talking refrigerator.”
Avoiding gaining weight while you have unlimited access to your fridge is difficult enough. Actually losing weight while you’re working from home, on the other hand, may seem impossible. But it’s actually surprisingly easy to lose weight once you have adopted a few healthy lifestyle changes!
Get Enough Sleep
You may feel compelled to work more when you haven’t got an office or a clock to punch in and out of. By all means, dedicate whatever amount of time to your job you feel necessary. Though, never do so at the expense of your sleep!
A great amount of research has demonstrated sleep restriction’s adverse effects on metabolism. In comparison to those who sleep 10 hours a night, adults who sleep only four hours nightly show increased hunger and appetite for calorie-dense foods.
Why is this? Neurochemistry is as complicated a science as you might imagine. In simple terms, it appears that insufficient sleep is associated with increased production of ghrelin. This is the hormone that stimulates hunger. As well as decreased production of leptin. This hormone contributes to the feeling of satiety.
In even simpler terms, when you don’t get enough sleep, you aren’t giving your body the time it needs to produce the chemicals which promote healthier eating decisions. We appreciate that your schedule may be too hectic to accommodate 10 hours of nightly sleep. But for adults, sleeping at least seven hours nightly poses far more benefits than easier weight loss alone!
Get Enough Exercise
People who used to stop by the gym during their commutes no longer enjoy that convenience once they begin working from home. They often overlook just how much opportunity to exercise they already have at home.
When you are working at a computer, it is recommended that you pause every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. The “20-20-20 rule” promotes better eye health. Also, by following it gives you a perfect opportunity to sneak in a quick exercise. Do a couple of squats, touch your toes, or just pace briefly. You’d be surprised how quickly short yet frequent spurts of exercise can add up!
However much of your day your work projects eat up, it is crucial to commit at least 150 minutes of your time to exercise every week. That can mean going for half-hour walks on weekdays, which is a fine way to clear your head after you have closed your laptop for the evening. You may also condense your weekly exercise routine by jogging or running. Undertaking 75 minutes of any vigorous aerobic activity every week is usually enough to receive all the health benefits of regular exercise.
You would also ideally engage in muscle-strengthening activities for 20 to 30 minutes during three or more days a week. This does not mean you must begin bench-pressing several hundred pounds. So long as you have a couple of comfortably heavy dumbbells, you can work out all of your major muscle groups while watching television.
Get Proper Nutrition
It would be unreasonable to offer one-size-fits-all nutritional advice for weight loss, as everyone’s metabolism and dietary needs are unique. But at the bare minimum, we would advise that you consider CICO: calories in, calories out.
CICO only underscores the fact that weight loss is inevitable so long as you consume fewer calories than you burn on a daily basis. It does not take nutrition into account, and it can become unhealthy when taken to an extreme. But so long as you consume fewer calories than would be recommended based on your age, lifestyle, weight, sex and current state of health, you will lose weight.
In addition to avoiding overeating, we can confidently recommend avoiding three specific sources of calories as often as possible.
Three Calorie-dense sources:
- Fast food. Nearly 37% of American adults consume fast food every day. Fast food is delicious for the same reasons why it must be avoided. It is densely packed with calories, fat and sodium. Consider the double cheeseburger from McDonald’s, which contains 450 calories, 24 grams of fat and 1,120 milligrams of sodium. Those are 22.5%, 40% and 75% of the respective amounts an average adult woman needs on a daily basis.
- Alcohol. In addition to its potentially harmful effects on the nervous system, heart, liver and pancreas, alcohol is filled with empty calories. One half of a bottle of red wine contains approximately 300 calories – 15% of the total calories an adult woman needs in a day.
- Sugar. It is recommended that an adult woman consume no more than 24 grams of sugar daily. One can of Canada Dry contains 32 grams of sugar, which means the ideal amount of soda consumption is zero. Ditch the fizz in favor of water. An adult who drinks the daily recommended amount of water in a day (2.7 liters for women, 3.7 liters for men) may also experience easier weight loss.
Would you like to know which foods you should eat when you are trying to lose weight while working from home? We would love to discuss the benefits of functional wellness and nutrition with you, and welcome you to contact Fargo Spine today to schedule your initial consultation at our clinic in Fargo, ND. Once we have better understood your unique dietary needs, we can recommend the best way for any telecommuter to defeat their talking refrigerator!