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How to Avoid Weight Gain While Working at Home

By Rachel Greenberg

We have all heard the many benefits of working at home - set your own hours, spend more time with your family, avoid the commute, etc. And many people (including myself!) have actually reaped these benefits. But one thing we aren't told is that for some of us, one unfortunate side effect of being at home all day is weight gain.

Now I know that a lot of the work-at-home crowd is really only at home in an office part of the time. Salespeople are always out on sales calls, and well, if you run a day care center in your home, then you're probably chasing little ones around all day. These work-at-home types are probably immune to the weight gain.

I'm talking about the rest of us. Those of us who are home alone, all day, with nothing but a computer and a bag of cookies to keep us company. How can we fight the urge to indulge? Let's take a look at the top 5 options:

1. Set a routine and stick to it.
Yes, I know, one of the benefits of working at home is not having the rigid work schedule, but we still need to have some sort of structure. Your routine should only allow for a few minutes of snacking a day, so that you know when and where you will be eating.

2. Don't keep tempting foods in the house.
This is much easier said than done, especially if you have children. I do not have kids, (but I do have a husband who can eat whatever he wants and never gain weight. Don't you just hate him?) so I have to watch which foods get put into the pantry. And let's face it, we could all stand to make some healthier selections. Buy apples instead of chips, or protein bars instead of candy bars. Just one substitute here and there can make a difference.

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3. Get moving.
You knew it was coming, and here it is - that dreaded word: exercise. I'm not saying you have to do two hours of calisthenics a day, but you do need to get up out of that chair and do something. Go for a walk, do some light housework, it doesn't matter. Just do something besides sitting.

4. Use break-time wisely.
Wait a minute - doesn't taking a break mean eating a snack? NO! You need to fill your break time with other things that you enjoy. Like reading, or knitting, or talking on the phone (my favorite!). Maybe even combine this with option #3 (get moving), and then you'll be doing well.

5. Make some trade-offs.
Okay, so you had a few too many snacks one day. You'll do better the next day. Or you'll do some extra exercise to make up for it. If you have that snack, make a commitment to walk, instead of drive, on your next errand.

As with many things in life, it's all about moderation. The benefits of working at home far outweigh (pun intended!) the negative aspects. And if you can follow the steps above to fight the bulge, then you will make the work-at-home experience that much more enjoyable.

© Rachel Greenberg
Rachel Greenberg has a background in business and finance, and she received her MBA from Duke University in 1999. She writes fun and informative pieces for her website, which she created with her husband Lee. The website provides advice and recommendations for families on various products and services for their homes, lives, and businesses.


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