New Delhi: It has been a year; the second wave of the pandemic is here and people are still working from home. It also looks like work from home will continue for a while. For many, working for home is like a dream come true. No boss breathing down your neck or taunting you, no noisy co-workers blabbering around you or speaking loudly to divert your attention, and no commute hijacking your free time. Moreover, you can stay in your pyjamas the entire day.Also Read - Weight Loss: 5 Kitchen Ingredients That Work Wonders To Lose Belly Fat

However, working has some serious disadvantages also. As the boundaries between professional and personal lives become thin, work from home may have undesired consequences especially when it comes to your health and weight. Exorbitant professional pressures are having a negative impact on the well-being of many people. Erratic schedules, increased stress, disturbed sleep, lack of exercise, and unhealthy diets are taking a toll on people’s health. Also Read - Refreshing Summer Health Drinks That Can Hydrate And Rejuvenate You From Within | Watch List

There are a lot of people who have gained oodles of weight during the lockdown. Those who were already overweight or obese have gained further weight which is leading to further deterioration in obesity-related conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea, cholesterol-related issues, etc. Also Read - Covid or no COVID, Work From Home Policy Stays on Table For Several Companies | Full List

As the second wave of the pandemic rages on and further restrictions on movement are added, many people will be required to stay at home for long durations. Hence, it is important that we focus on our health and adopt practices that will keep our weight in check. Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker, Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Saifee, Apollo Spectra, Currae, Namaha Hospitals; Mumbai share some vital tips for you to stay fit and healthy:

  • Eat healthy: Focus on having healthy home-cooked food. Avoid very high-calorie foods like fried food, junk, and fast food, sugary sweets, and drinks. Try not to order outside food very frequently. Every night discuss the next day’s menu with your family members. With each one’s participation, it takes away stress and cooking can be a joyful activity. You can also look for healthy recipes on YouTube or other social media platforms.
  • Try to prepare your meals by yourself: Decide how you are going to adhere to healthy eating. Try to cook food by yourself and monitor your intake. Your meals should be inclusive of all the essential nutrients. Plan your meals beforehand. Try to keep your meals clean. Include salads and soups in the meals. Beat those hunger pangs with healthy eating like having whole fruits and seeds. Maintain a food diary to write down about your calorie intake.
  •  Portion control: This is very important. Avoid very large portions and focus on smaller meals. If you like to look at a full plate, use techniques like the portion size illusion. Eat on a smaller plate that looks fuller and makes you feel more satisfied mentally.
  • No grazing: Try to follow a good eating schedule and eat wholesome and nutritious meals. Avoid grazing on junk throughout the day. It adds to unnecessary calories. Do not eat chips or pastries all day long.
  • Monitor your weight and calculate your body mass index (BMI). When you are working from home, check your weight and BMI on regular basis. Use the following guidelines to stratify your weight:
  1. BMI between 18.5 to 23.5 kg/ m2 is in the normal weight category.
  2. BMI between 23.5 to 27.5 kg/ m2 is overweight,
  3. BMI between 27.5 to 32.5 kg/ m2 falls under grade 1 obesity,
  4. BMI between 32.5 to 37.5 kg/ m2 under grade 2 obesity and
  5. BMI above 37.5 kg/ m2 is considered as grade 3 obesity.

(BMI= Weight in kg/ Height in m2)

If you are crossing over to the overweight or obese category, consult a qualified weight loss specialist immediately. Nowadays, consultations are being done online as well and hence there is no reason to delay seeking help.

  • Practice mindful eating: Mindful eating helps in keeping the weight in check. Pay attention to what you are eating, savour the taste, give time to mealtimes and cherish the food on your plate.
  • Hydrate yourself: Water is the elixir of life. Drink a lot of water. Increase your fluid intake. However, avoid sugary drinks, carbonated drinks, and fruit juices. Unlike common perception, fruit juices are not that healthy. Juices take away the fibre from the fruit and add to the sugar. Bid adieu to alcohol and smoking.
  •  Have your workspace away from your kitchen so that you don’t end up going overboard. Easy accessibility can sometimes lead to a higher caloric intake. Avoid emotional and binge eating. Do not sit close to the refrigerator while working. Do not skip your meals just because you have a meeting to attend or are burdened with work.
  •  Try to create a no-eating zone in your workspace. No eating at the desk so that you don’t eat mindlessly. Try to concentrate on your meal while having food. Try to keep up the motivation.
  • Exercise every day: Work from home doesn’t mean you should give up on your fitness routine. You can dance, do aerobics, rope exercises, stretches, push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, other desk workouts at home. Invest in a good standing desk so that you kick off your sedentary lifestyle by avoiding sitting for longer hours. Take regular fitness breaks and try to stand up and exercise. Try to stick to your regular working hours and pay attention to your health. Spend some time with your family. Stay stress-free by meditating or doing yoga.
  •  Community support: Connect to other people like you who are working from home and still managing to stay in top shape. Speak to them about their experiences; share your doubts and concerns. Take their help and get some motivation to stay healthy.
  • Get a sound sleep at night: Reduce your screen time and follow a good sleep routine. Avoid midnight snacking. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain.