Weight gain when working from home
Research prior to the pandemic showed that small changes in body weight over a short period of time can often become permanent and lead to substantial weight gain over time. It's been over a year now and some sources estimate that as many as 80% of adults are now working from home, not to mention children who are trying to do school online. While this pandemic has not been a holiday or vacation for most of us, the similarities can be compared to weight gain occurrences that happen when we deviate from normal routines and eating habits. Here's a few facts to consider:
- While our bodies are pretty resilient and short term binges (i.e. one meal or weekend ) of high calorie foods are usually managed by the body, significant fat gain CAN occur over a relatively short period of time (i.e. 1-2 weeks)
- Individuals who are already overweight or obese are at a greater risk
- regular exercises are not exempt; if the balance is tipped on the side of calorie intake vs. output, weight gain is the result
- Women are at a greater risk for keeping the weight on if it is gained over a short period of time
- Changes in eating behaviour are usually the cause of weight gain
Other challenges that contribute to poor food choices and changing eating habits include:
- limited ability to participate in organized sport or activities
- closure or fear of attending gyms and public recreational facilities
- closure of stores and shift to online shopping vs. in person retail (walking through big box stores, browsing malls)
- inability to eat in restaurants, and the rise of purchasing packaged convenience foods
- lack of knowledge or skill to cook a healthy or tasty meal (more take out)
- eating for boredom
- more sedentary behaviours
A few tips to help combat this:
Want to get moving? Check out many of my free 30 minute interval and core training workouts in my 5 day free fit challenge group!
- COVID‐19–Related Home Confinement in Adults: Weight Gain Risks and Opportunities; Surabhi BHutani, Jamie A. Cooper; Journal of Obesity, September 2020, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.22904
- Stevenson JL, Krishnan S, Stoner MA, Goktas Z, Cooper JA. Effects of exercise during the holiday season on changes in body weight, body composition and blood pressure. Eur J Clin Nutr 2013;67:944‐949.
- Kaviani S, vanDellen M, Cooper JA. Daily self‐weighing to prevent holiday‐associated weight gain in adults. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2019;27:908‐916.
- Cook CM, Subar AF, Troiano RP, Schoeller DA. Relation between holiday weight gain and total energy expenditure among 40‐ to 69‐y‐old men and women (OPEN study). Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:726‐731.