nav-left cat-right

Tips to prevent weight gain while working from hom...

Let’s face it, less activity and more food usually leads to weight gain. Thousands of Americans are working from home temporarily during the 2020 pandemic. Many of us are enjoying sit-down dinners together and have more quality time to spend with family. Many gyms remain closed which is bad news for those that depend on them for providing exercise options. Three tips to avoid weight gain while working from home:

  • Keep stepping: Don’t ditch your step count. You may not be able to log 10,000 steps per day but don’t give up on accruing and setting goals for daily steps. Adjust your goal to make it more realistic. Accrue steps inside your home, outside and around the neighborhood. Consider taking 10 minute ‘walking breaks’ throughout the workday. Check out fitness apps that make working out from home a solid option.
  • Have kitchen hours: If you were working in the office, would you frequent the cafeteria throughout the day? Probably not. Wandering in the kitchen out of boredom leads to mindless snacking. Have set mealtimes and limit trips to the kitchen between meals (exception: water). If you like snacking, plan and prepare low-calorie snacks for long stretches between meals.
  • Weekly weigh-ins: Gaining weight in small increments creeps up on you and, if you aren’t paying attention, pounds can add up quickly. Most of us are working from home in comfortable clothes, not form fitting work clothes. Weighing yourself weekly can keep you honest. Body weight fluctuates so have a ‘weight window.’ For example, if you feel your best at 150 lbs aim to keep that window between 150 and 154 lbs. If it hits 153 lbs, it’s time to practice portion control and increase activity.

Low-Calorie Life: How to Eat a Low-Calorie Diet

Though not a comprehensive ‘how-to’ tutorial…these tips are important when beginning or resuming a low-calorie diet. Use them to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Before you begin your low-calorie diet:

1) Be Realistic. If weight loss is your goal, don’t set yourself up for disappointment or health problems by setting unrealistic goals. This should be a positive experience, so start with small, achievable goals. For lasting weight control, aim to lose no more than two pounds per week.

Crash dieting is bad for you! Among other things, it will ultimately slow down your metabolism, making it difficult to shed pounds as your body typically goes into preservation or ‘starvation’ mode when you don’t consume enough food. A low-calorie diet that dips below 1,200 calories daily is too low!

2) Clean out your kitchen/pantry! High calorie leftovers and goodies such as cookies, cakes, full-fat cheeses and other full-fat dairy products should be tossed out! Cast out seasonal candies and treats, too. Replace them with wholesome, fresh, unprocessed naturally low-calorie foods. Remember, you can only prepare and eat the foods you have readily available. You can’t polish off a package of cookies if they aren’t there!

3) Restock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy, wholesome ingredients. Start fresh and new. Substitute low-calorie and light products for their high calorie counterparts. Buy whole grain pastas, breads, and cereals; and keep plenty of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables on hand.

Low-calorie diet tips

4) Slowly cut back on excess calories. Start by monitoring your portion sizes. Portions (and plates) have grown so much that we don’t recognize what a standard serving is or looks like anymore.

Always read nutrition fact panels as food packages often contain two servings but the nutritional analysis label refers to one serving. Become familiar enough with standard serving sizes to be able to ‘eyeball it’ and use smaller plates for meals. Remember, by definition, low-calorie foods offer 40 calories per serving.

5) Minimize your fat and junk food intake. Doing this can and will drastically decrease the amount of calories you take in. Why? Each gram of fat equals 9 calories, whereas each gram of protein or carbohydrate equals 4 calories (less than half). Also cut back on “empty” calories. Refer to what are empty calories for more information. Small changes make a big difference. Swap your 12 ounce can of soda with sparkling water (which is not low-calorie but is actually calorie-free!) and you’ve just lost 1 pound per month!

6) Always eat breakfast. Wait – put down those pastries! Consuming a healthy low-calorie breakfast jump starts your metabolism and sustains you until lunchtime, keeping your blood sugar steady. Ninety-five percent of those that are most successful at losing weight are breakfast eaters. In addition, noshing on a nutritious low-calorie breakfast gives you the opportunity to start the day right, filling up on premium fuel, such as vitamin & mineral-rich whole grains, low/non-fat dairy products, and fresh fruit.

Now you are ready to begin/resume your low-calorie diet!