How do we stay healthy and maintain our weight if we are working from home?
Many people have been working from home (WFH) since the pandemic. Some of the WFH crowd has gained weight, as did many of us during the pandemic. So the question is how do we stay healthy and maintain our weight if we are working from home?
The first rule is to maintain the same schedule of waking up and going to bed as you did when you went to the office (unless it was a night shift). I recommend maintaining a regular circadian cycle, i.e. go to bed when it is dark and get up as the sun comes up. For thousands of years, humans evolved with the sun. Just because we have artificial light and computers does not change this circadian rhythm. There are so many physiological signals in the body attached to this internal clock and you cannot bio-hack your way out. So go to bed between 10-11 and wake up around 6 to 7am. Turn off electronics 1-2 hours before bed. All of this improves sleep which also makes you less hungry the next day!
The second rule is regular movement during the day. Once again, humans evolved with movement. Sitting in front of the computer for long periods is bad. Try walking- preferably every hour at least 250-500 steps. You can walk briskly to the mailbox outside, walk around your house or if you have steps, run up and down them a few times. This quick movement is invigorating to your body and mind.
The third rule is maintain a regular exercise schedule. WFH meant many of us saved 1-2 hours of commuting time. Consider spending 30-40 minutes to movement. This can be in two divided times and can be an activity that makes you happy! When we do things that create joy, our body responds better!
The fourth rule is stay hydrated. It is so easy to snack when WFH but most of us are actually not hungry. We are thirsty. So before you eat anything, drink 6-8 oz. of water and wait 15minutes. Your goal for the day is to drink half your body weight in ounces. For patients who are very heavy, once you have consumed 120oz of water, you can stop. So keep a large water bottle next to you and drink throughout the hour. You are less likely to urinate if you sip the water throughout the hour rather than chug 8oz at once. Adding fresh lemon to water can help with weight loss, can help detoxify, and is a good source of vitamin C.
The fifth rule is choose healthy foods. It is easy to cheat when WFH, so do not buy junk food to tempt yourself. Keep cut up fruits and veggies with hummus or nut butters or raw nuts and seeds ready in case you have the munchies. Consider keeping a time restriction on food consumption. For patients that are new to this, consider a 10-hour window period in which you eat such as 8 am to 6pm or 9am to 7pm. Think about what works for you and your family. But I recommend not EATING three hours before bedtime for adults.
I know this may not work for everyone, but for those that are still struggling, please sign up with our team to help you achieve better health! We don’t like that midsection flab either!