- Jun 14, 2018
I have a lot of lifestyle improvements to show after years of working from home. Financially, we’re doing a lot better and paying bills and other stuff that needs payment on time (and have begun a travel savings account, to boot!). The kids are doing much better at school with me and their dad to guide them with their homework. The house looks better-organized now than it did before when I was working from an office. And yes, I do feel more fulfilled and happier with my chosen career!
However, I did gain weight along the way, which sucks. The lack of discipline, developing a string of bad eating habits, and not utilizing tools that could help me stay healthy and fit are the main culprits. I’ve lost some of that weight now, fortunately - though it took some time and a whole lot of willpower to do so.
Today, I’d like to share with you five tips for not gaining too much weight when you work from home.
1) Keep track of what you eat!
One of the biggest (and fattest) mistakes I made when I first started being a WAHM was not to count my calories. Granted, this is a practice anyone who wants to stay healthy and fit should do regardless of their circumstances or schedule. However, being immersed in work and motherhood tasks found me ordering food delivery almost all the time so I can eat “al desko” (at my desk - more on this bad practice later) without work getting interrupted.
So my initial notion that I would be saving precious time from preparing meals and washing dishes resulted in me gaining up to 12 lbs since I started working from home! My BP and blood sugar levels also took a beating, which prompted me to set aside time for healthier home cooked meals, and to keep better track of my carb and fat intake. For this purpose, I started a FatSecret account which I can check or update using my mobile devices, and it has helped me keep my weight and food consumption at a more responsible level (it’s got a great and supportive community, too!).
2) Create a grocery shopping menu/routine
It wasn’t only fast food that made me gain so much WAHM weight - it was also the sorry state of our pantry and cupboards. Sadly, I wasn’t able to be on top of our grocery shopping and food menu planning since I began working from home. For this, I needed a tool that would remind me what groceries I need, and when I need them.
Having the Out of Milk app that lists down what I need (AKA ingredients for healthy meals) and not what’s convenient (AKA junk food and microwave meals) is what I really wanted to keep my pantry well stocked and my kitchen churning out food to nourish me and my family. I also use this app so I can keep track of kitchen and household stuff that need replenishing.
3) Take a break for simple stretches and workout routines
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post I made about WAHM self-care tips, I’ve become a huge fan of desk “workouts”. They can be done in five to ten minutes, and won’t require too many equipments or tools to accomplish (a desk or the back of your chair will do). The barre3 app is something I swear by, having no time during the weekdays to attend their studio classes in our town. But following the stretches, squats, lunges, and other doable but core-strengthening routines on my tablet is as good as the real thing! Plus, it doesn’t eat up a lot of my day-time schedule.
4) Eat when and where you’re supposed to
Remember that term “al desko” I mentioned above? It’s a phrase borne from the bad habit of not wanting to stop work for lunch, resulting in eating meals right there on the desk (and spilling lots of sauce and food particles on my laptop while I’m at it). I ate any time felt like it, too. Looking back, it was really an unhealthy, messy practice that needed to be stopped.
Not only was I developing nasty eating habits, but I was also taking precious time away to bond with my family over lunch and dinner time because I was always hunched over my laptop. So aside from setting up a regular schedule for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the family, I also installed an app called Eating Time on my phone to remind me that it’s time to haul ass out of my home office, and into the dining area where I should be eating.
5) Be more active during the weekends
I look forward to the weekends because I can be more active then. I make sure that work doesn’t spill over to my Saturdays and Sundays for this purpose (also because I want more quality time with my family and friends). But keeping fit during the weekends is much doable compared to trying to squeeze in an hour or two at the gym during the work-week. I tried full workouts during the weekdays but only succeeded in tiring myself out and missing deadlines in the process
Today, I make sure to use the Sworkit app (linked below for both iOS and Android users) because of its versatility and customizable workouts and schedules. My husband and I both have it on our devices, with our own personalized workout routines aiming to reach our own fitness goals.
The five tips I listed above are all from my own personal experience, along with the suggested apps that actually worked for me. But I think the bottom line for being healthy and not getting fat while being a WAHM is really being disciplined and establishing a routine you can stick with.
Are you working from home and trying not to gain weight while you’re at it? If you have tips on how to keep fit and be healthy while doing home-based jobs, please share them with us below!