5 Ways to Stay Lean While Working From Home

So, you’ve managed to convince your boss and/or your spouse that you can be more successful by working from home.  Nicely done. However, as discussed here, there can be some concerns if you aren’t careful.

Here are a few tips to help prevent you from putting on extra weight whilst working from home:

1. Have set mealtimes

A regular meal schedule can help you avoid the need for snacking.  There’s a lot to be said about eating smaller portions, less often.  If you have the flexibility to do this while you work from home, you might find that you aren’t having crazy sugar cravings as often.  Of course, one of the keys to this is reducing your portion size – moderation is essential.

2. Create appropriate snacks

If you have to have snacks, make it easy to make the right choice.  Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, or small appy plates (cheese and crackers, or pickles and sliced meats) are all great choices.  If you plan ahead, you can even reward yourself when you achieve some of your daily goals.

3. Get rid of the junk food

It might hurt at first, but get rid of the chips, chocolates, candies, and ice cream.  When you are avoiding work, or suffering writers block, or just trying to take a break, the temptation to eat junk is eliminated if you don’t have any in the cupboards.

4. Cut out the cream

If you’re like me, and working at home means more (and usually much better) coffee, be aware of how much cream and sugar you’re putting into your drink.  It all adds up, and over time you might notice it adding to your weight.  This includes Irish Cream in your coffee – now that you don’t have to drive to work, you can reward yourself with a tasty adult beverage – just be careful how much and how often.

5. Get up and exercise

Now that you don’t have that extra flight of stairs, or that walk from the parking lot to your office, try to add in some new exercise to keep your body in good shape.  Go for a walk around the block, have a bike ride with the kids, or just spend some time on the treadmill.  Make it a habit, and you might even start enjoying it.  I’m not quite there yet – but apparently it will happen.

Congratulations on joining the work-at-home team – and don’t stress about your weight.  Try to make healthy decisions now that you’ve got the flexibility, and enjoy the freedom working from home provides.

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After spending way too long in the corporate world, Jason has switched to full-time freelancing. With any luck you enjoyed this article - and if you need one of your very own, give him a shout! @brandscaping on the twitter, or at brandscaping.ca


  1. bjornredemptio on the 7th June

    Hmm… sadly this post is actually really appropriate

    • Jason Finnerty on the 7th June

      Hey Bjorn –
      not sure if a “thank you” or a “my condolences” is in order here!

      FYI – sadly, I am speaking from very recent experience…

  2. Stephen TBA on the 7th June

    I started working from home two years ago and now need to do some exercise to lose a few of the pounds I have gained since then. I have started going for regular walks, which is actually beneficial in two ways as I have been known to have a few good ideas whilst walking.

    • Jason Finnerty on the 7th June

      excellent point Stephen – the trick for me is to remember them when I get back home.

      I am fortunate, as my dog will whine if she doesn’t go for her walks at least twice a day.

  3. luckykitty on the 8th June

    Same here, but I also see some advantages:
    in terms of snacks I have fresh fruits and veggies available at home at all times
    cooking fresh meals can be integrated more easily (put the potatoes on and then check for mail before making a salad and putting a piece of poultry or fish in the pan)
    flexibility for excercise – doctors recommend at least a walk of 15 minutes three times a week – and this minimum is easily reached. If you’re very unfit, just don’t aim for more for the first month or two – and always take a notebook and a pen (or just an empty pocketmod) for those ideas that float up walking …

    Having a dog makes you meet the minimum requirements out of sheer necessity.

    • Jason Finnerty on the 8th June

      Great suggestions, LuckyKitty,

      I think the key to healthy eating is in the planning.
      And it’s important to remember that your body is your tool – and you need to make sure you take care of it.

      Finding a healthy snack that you can use as a reward isn’t as hard as it used to be – and after a while, the craving for the sugary/salty snacks goes away.
      I try to satisfy those on special occasions – moderation being the key.

      Thanks for your comments.


  4. Cesare on the 8th June

    Also … buy two computers. One for working and one for fun. And place them in different places.
    Alternatively you can go for a computer and an iPad 🙂

    • Jason Finnerty on the 8th June

      Oh Cesare

      LOVE this suggestion.

      did I mention that I’m married? If I’m lucky, I’ll be allowed to buy her an iPad for xmas…

  5. PsdDude on the 8th June

    I have started working from home for a couple of months now and i can’t find time to cook and eat so this article is not for me miser … you can write another one for dudes like me!

    • Jason Finnerty on the 8th June

      Hey PsdDude,

      I hear you – but you have to take time for yourself – especially if you’re freelancing/selfemployed – because nobody else will.

      There are a few tricks to making it easier for you.
      http://www.recipematcher.com/ allows you to just throw together a few ingredients that you have on hand, and it spits out some tasty meal suggestions.

      But – looking at the amazing content on your site – I can see why you might not have time to do it yourself! Wow – fantastic work.

      If you really are that busy – why not look at having someone come in once a week/month and prepare your meals?
      Still going to be cheaper than a restaurant, you don’t have to go out to do it, and if you get the right person, they will clean the kitchen, too! Score!


  6. Cesare on the 8th June

    I can be an idea for a business.

    “Food ready for freelancers” or “Quick recipes for freelancers”.

    • Jason Finnerty on the 8th June

      Sounds good Cesare – I’ll check with the WA editors to see if this is a good direction.

      but – for you – here’s a super quick and easy recipe:

      Pirogi Casserole

      1 small bag premade, frozen pirogi
      1 can of your favorite pasta sauce (marinara or a vodka sauce work well)
      1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mozza, whatever. **not cheese slices**)
      1/2 cup sour cream

      turn oven to 350F
      dig casserole dish from bottom of cupboard
      find lid for casserole dish (tin foil works, too)
      pour pirogi into dish.
      pour sauce all over pirogi
      sprinkle cheese all over (sample cheese to ensure it’s still tasty!)

      bake for an hour or so – go read your email, send an invoice, or just chill until the house smells great.

      carefully remove from oven,
      remove lid
      add sour cream

      serve with a Caesar salad and garlic bread (especially good if you have a vampire infestation)

      leftovers are even better the next day.

      Good for 2-3 people – or one very hungry person (which would defeat the point of this article, but sometimes stuff happens)


  7. Ekrem Büyükkaya on the 8th June

    Don’t believe if someone says if that you are a brainworker you don’t need to worry about your weight. If you can go to gym regularly or there are lots of programs for fitness-at-home which are really working.

    • Jason Finnerty on the 8th June

      Very valid points Ekrem

      thanks for sharing


  8. amy on the 9th June

    thanks for the kick in the ass i needed. gonna go for a bike ride RIGHT NOW. and go buy that printer paper I need.

    (Another tip: It helps to plan errands and exercise together! go buy office supplies one day, grocery shopping the next, and take walks while on those interminable conference calls with the client who won’t shut up!)

    • Jason Finnerty on the 9th June

      Excellent tips Amy – not sure if im lucky or unlucky, but most of my chats with clients are via email – which i strive NOT to check while out walking the dog.


  9. mrsound on the 6th November

    Great tips. I’m trying to have a regular meal eating 6 times daily including in between snacks.

    If you are having a hard time to decide what to eat daily, maybe this site can help you plan. http://www.foodista.com/

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