How not to gain weight while working from home

PILING on the kilos could be an unexpected symptom of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With rising numbers of Queenslanders working from home and holed up in their own lounge rooms, diet experts warn the lack of structure in the working day can lead to too many visits to the fridge.

With predictions that lives will be turned upside down for six months, a Brisbane nutritionist who is now running her business from home, shares her own survival guide as to how to keep the snack attacks at bay, including downloading a robot boss on your computer to keep you focused on the job.

Nutritionist Katie King. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
Nutritionist Katie King. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

Working from home means the day is not broken up with the car ride to work, the morning coffee time, meetings and simple social interactions with colleagues so the hours can drag and boredom leads to snacking, Katie King, a registered nutritionist and Bachelor of Health Science, told The Courier-Mail.

"From my personal experience the hardest part about working from home is avoiding mindless eating as a result of procrastination. To avoid this, it's best to make sure you don't have temptations lying around - like chocolates and biscuits," she said.

"Apps that boost productivity are really handy. For example, the Pomodoro app is a free download on your computer that encourages you to focus for 25 minutes at a time and then allows you a five minute break. Psychologically it works. It's like having a robot boss on your computer keeping you accountable to your work and stopping you from mindlessly walking to the kitchen," Ms King said.

The nutritionist emphasises that skipping meals leads to overeating.

Turn off notifications and have set times to eat lunch and eat all food at a table away from the computer.

"If you get into the habit of skipping lunch altogether, you will be hungry and you'll go for quick snack foods high in sugar continuously for fast pick me ups and you'll only come crashing down again," she said.

Keeping the physical body happy will keep the mind in better shape and keep you more focused.

"If you're in an exercise pattern already, keep it the same. Don't promise yourself you will 'just do it later' because chances are you won't. Slot it in as normal. And if its not part of your routine, then with all the extra time you have minus commuting why not make it a habit from now?" Ms King said.

A couple of Brisbane locals are creating an online community for people working from home to "stay healthy and stay connected" with daily free interactive online fitness events.

Nicky Ellis is a former gym owner in Brisbane, who has created Online Workout Community (www.onlineworkoutcommunity.com) for Australians working from home to join a live, interactive fitness workout at 6am and 6pm (Queensland time) Monday through Friday.

TIPS TO KEEP HEALTHY WHILE WORKING FROM HOME

*Pack a healthy lunch as if you are going to work

*Keep glass of water close and walk to fill up often

*Avoid stocking up sugar snacks

*Prepare healthy snacks

*Allocate exact break times

*Don't skip lunch

*Don't ever eat at computer

*Put veggie rich meal in slow cooker in morning

Source: The Balanced Nutritionist Brisbaneriginally published as How not to gain weight while working from home


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