Stop overeating! Five risky behaviors leading to weight gain during WFH

When knew? Working from home comes with a risk of weight gain caused by various lifestyle habits. Here are the five riskiest behaviors you should quit and how to go about it to reduce your vulnerability to gaining weight while you work from home.

1. Not eating at regular times

The various eventualities of life can cause us not to eat at regular times and instead nibble continually rather than sitting down to a proper meal. We realize too late that we’ve already eaten more than we really need. To get on top of this, we suggest adjusting your regular eating times to suit your WFH lifestyle. For example, if you’re very busy in the mornings, start the day with a simple breakfast. As for your two other meals, just eat enough so you don’t get too hungry. Another way to control your calorie intake and banish the weight-gain problem is to practice Intermittent Fasting (IF) around a clearly set meal schedule.

2. Compulsive soft drink consumption

Although soft drinks can be refreshing and energizing, there’s always a price to pay. Soft drinks are a great way to consume much more sugar than your body really needs, ultimately leading to obesity. To keep hydrated, switch to drinking cool water. Not only does water not have any calories but it makes your skin brighter, stimulates your digestive system, cleanses toxins, and makes your excretory system work more efficiently. Sip water continuously throughout the day and keep your body from dehydrating the healthy way.

3. Eating late at night

If you’ve picked up the habit of working late and eating even later, you’re setting your body up for some long-term ill-effects. Eating late leaves your digestive system less rest time. Worse, it can cause acid reflux, indigestion, flatulence, and other medical complaints. So, if you’re feeling hungry before you go to bed, have a glass of warm soy milk which has high concentration of the digestion-friendly amino acid, L-tryptophan. Or a hot cup of chamomile tea that will help you get to sleep and also improve the quality of your shut-eye.

4. Eating fried foods and high-fat foods

Although the fatty acids in fats are essential for our body, too much of leads to obesity and cardiovascular disease. What with all the fat hiding out in snacks, fast food and bakeries, it’s easy to get to that point, so it’s best to avoid them. Also, instead of frying or stir-frying, switch to boiling or steaming. Another good idea is to carefully avoid fatty ingredients and generally pare down the fat component in every meal.

5. Not exercising enough

Exercise is simply a matter of moving. When we went out to work, we had to walk to and from the train station or parking lot. WFH means we’re at our desk in just a few steps – much less of a work out. The solution is to spend at least 30 minutes each day pushing our body with walking, jogging, jumping or yoga. It’s a good idea to start in the morning with a simple exercise regimen. Or do it during the day or even in the evening. You’ll feel refreshed and keep your weight in-check either way.

While these behaviors seemingly bring us a burst of relief and happiness, the long-term consequences are simply not worth it. Our general level of health and wellbeing is likely to suffer and we put ourselves at unnecessary risk of various diseases. So have a good try at cutting them out. Put the above into practice and you’ll get your weight back under control and feel all the better for it.


• Harvard Medical School

• Paolo Hospital

• Bureau of Nutrition, Department of Health

• Samitivej Hospital

• Phyathai Hospital