It’s something you may not have considered before, but studies have found that weight gain may be associated with working for women. Employees reported higher stress, depression, lack of time, eating out with co-workers or attending work parties, and the added pressure of balancing responsibilities at work, in the home, and with children.
These factors were thought to make it much harder to adhere to weight loss plans and sustain long term weight loss. The fact is that working isn’t so much a choice as a necessity these days, with rising costs of living making it unrealistic to expect a household to be able to function on just one wage.
So if we can’t just quit our jobs, and a winning lottery ticket probably isn’t on the cards, how do we continue going to work but lose weight at the same time?
Some of us may find that seeking help in learning how to help manage stress or low moods may be incredibly helpful. Strategies may include breathing exercises, getting out in the fresh air, meditation, going for a walk, or rephrasing negative self talk.
Another strategy is to dedicate a short amount of time to planning ahead. Perhaps you set aside 15-30 minutes a week to plan the week ahead, think about any possible problems, and prioritise tasks at work. This could mean you spend less time putting out fires, and more time getting work done that is important. This can help reduce stress as you are in a proactive state instead of a reactive one.
Find time first
If you work full time it can feel impossible to find any extra time to workout, prepare meals from scratch, draw up meal plans, or find weight loss recipes. The later in the day it becomes, the less we feel inclined to make healthy choices a priority.
Why not start your work day off having already accomplished aka of this? If you woke up half an hour earlier, could you fit in a 20 minute walk, pack a healthy lunch, and pick a recipe for the evening? Yes, you might need to train your body to work with a slightly earlier bedtime, but what are you spending that last half an hour of the day doing anyway?
Manage social pressures
When eating out with co-workers it can be tempting to just fall in line and go with whatever everyone else is eating. Eating a healthy meal before you go so that you don’t overeat, or checking out the menu beforehand so you can decide on the healthiest option are some strategies you can use. Speak to co-workers beforehand about your goals to get healthy and you may find you build a support network for positive changes that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Being pulled in every direction
Having a family and a home to maintain can add far more responsibilities onto your plate. So what are some steps you could take to help balance this out? Teaming up with other mothers can be a great and free way to get some extra me-time. Maybe one afternoon a week a friend picks up your kids and has them over for a play date for an hour while you get to the gym, and on another day you return the favour.
If you are in a financial position where you could pay someone to help out either in the home or with childcare duties this can be a lifesaver. Whether this is a cleaner that comes once a fortnight, a laundry service, a PA that can take some tasks off your hands so you can get away from work earlier, or a babysitter when you need it, realising that it doesn’t have to be YOU that doesn’t everything can take a lot of pressure off you.
The great thing is that eating a healthy and nutritious diet and regularly exercising is a mood booster, and improves concentration and energy… So the quality time you spend at home or with your family will be as a happier, more energetic version of yourself instead of a tired, overworked, and snappy you.
We’ve said it before, but the importance of taking time to look after yourself puts you in a much better state to look after others around you. There are many more barriers to weight loss you could be experiencing, find out about them in our mindset workshops.