I now truly believe that someone who works from home vs someone that needs to get somewhere to work every day will need to have a different approach to losing weight. I know because I learned the hard way.
You might also face the problem that when the weekend rolls around, you lose control of the healthy diet you had followed all week. Home is not always the best place to take charge of our willpower.
In this blog post, I will give you my best tips on how to lose weight at home on a plant-based lifestyle. I will tell you the best ways to stay active, and how to stay away from the cookie jar!
But first, I will share with you some life lessons learned…
Lesson 1: My Struggle Working From Home
I work in an office and unfortunately I have to commute every day for about 45 minutes. In March 2020, I began working from home like many of you because of COVID-19, and although I have been back at the office for months, it does not feel like life has returned to normal at all (especially in California where I live).
I know that many people took the opportunity of being stuck at home to cook healthy and exercise more. If that was you, great! I’m so proud!
I, on the other hand, struggled. I had a diet and exercise routine going on in my life, and when that had to change, I had trouble starting a new routine.
Before Covid-19, twice a week I would go to play soccer after work for 1-1/2 hours. I would sweat like crazy and have so much fun. But after the soccer games got canceled, and I started working from home, I almost completely stopped exercising. Doing home videos or going out for a run didn’t get me excited at all.
Working from home was also causing me to snack more. I could go to the kitchen anytime and find delicious goodies! However, I always prepare my lunch when I have to come to the office. My lunch bag has the right portion sizes of food for the day and nothing more, so I know I am not overeating.
I started to feel my pants fitting tighter. It was an awful feeling! I knew I must have gained a few pounds.
Lesson 2: When Your Emotions Get The Best Of You
It was not easy for me in the beginning.
Other than a change in routine, other factors probably caused me to eat more than I should have while I was stuck at home during the lock-down.
Whether we realize it or not, the changes in our everyday life we had to make due to the pandemic can cause stress and anxiety. And the fear and uncertainty of the future can take an emotional toll on us.
I started to feel it.
I learned that some of my coworkers had been laid-off, and many others had had their hours cut. All I could think about is, I’m next! It is my first time going through this, during the Great Recession I was still in college.
Weight-loss is a tricky thing. Although I have never been an emotional eater, snacks began to become comfort food for me throughout the day. Food can make us feel happy temporarily, and if we are not mentally strong enough we will end up overindulging to keep the feeling going.
Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter that gets released when we are enjoying eating, so it is natural to crave food.
Lesson 3: Could I Have Been Feeling Bored or Lonely?
Could that have been the reason for my weight gain?
Every day at the office, I’m used to seeing and talking to people whether it is about a project or about what we did during the weekend. I was distracted by one thing or another.
However, during the quarantine, I was locked in the guest bedroom working by myself (my dogs would sneak in once a while, and that would make my day).
Going down to the kitchen to get snacks became an escape from my lonely new workplace.
How Can I Lose Weight In 7 Days At Home?
This is a very common question I get. First, from experience, I will tell you that you need to be patient. If you are following a healthy diet, you will lose about 2 pounds (0.91 kg) in 7 days.
You might be disappointed to hear that, but that’s just how our body works. Plus, think about how long you have been eating unhealthy food, and 2 pounds (0.91 kg) a week won’t sound as bad anymore.
There are no healthy shortcuts to losing weight. To find out how many calories you should be consuming per day click here to go to a calculator. Once you know what your magic number is, and you stay under it, you will start losing weight faster.
Know that you understand that you can’t set unrealistic weight-loss goals for yourself, let’s learn about ways to lose weight at home at a healthy pace.
What I Did To Exercise More
I realized I needed a new routine!
It’s all about creating habits. I knew that for the time being, life had changed. I stopped to think and jotted down ideas on how I could get back on track on a healthy plant-based lifestyle.
As exercise, I started spinning. I bought a used spin bike on the Facebook marketplace, and I subscribed to the Peloton app. I used to ride my bike everywhere when I used to live in Taiwan, so cycling is not something completely new to me.
The upbeat music and motivational instructors (my favorite is Cody) make cycling a lot of fun. Be ready to get sweaty!
I love the community around Peloton and the concept of earning badgers when you reach a milestone. It is important that when you are trying to lose weight, you feel encouraged and supported.
I have also been going to play golf since the courses have opened up again. I was always curious to learn but never had taken the leap. My partner played golf in high school, and she is excellent at it. She got me used clubs for my birthday, and I have been lucky to be getting free lessons from her.
So the takeaway is: try something new. Nothing can replace my love for playing soccer, but for now, cycling and golf are my new go-to! Is there a sport or exercise you had always wanted to try but hadn’t gotten an opportunity to? Well, now is the time!
Find an activity you genuinely enjoy doing, and you are more likely to stick with it. Plus, nothing beats all the health benefits you will receive from exercising!
More Ideas For Burning More Calories At Home
Here are some ideas for you to try: If you have a backyard, then you have more options, such as badminton, basketball, and even dodge-ball with the kids.
If you need to stay indoors, some ideas are: learn to dance videos, learn to box videos, play table tennis. If you are into running or cycling you can get a treadmill or spin bike like I did.
I would also like to encourage you to buy a set of weights or resistance bands. These don’t take much space at home, and they are relatively inexpensive. Yet, the health benefits they provide are great!
You need to move. That is the key.
The gym being closed or not having money to pay for a gym membership is not an excuse to not stay active. Even just by standing at your desk while you work instead of sitting, you are already burning more calories. Walk the dog around the block instead of just letting him/her out in the backyard, walking is better than nothing.
Remember that the more you move, the more calories you burn.
What I Did To Stop Eating More Than I Should At Home
This is what I did to change my behavior…
For my stress and anxiety, I began meditating. My health insurance company (Kaiser Permanente) was offering a free 1-year subscription to the meditation app Calm. Perfect Timing! I had tried meditating before, however, I would stop after a few days. This time I was a lot more consistent!
When I would realize I was starting to get bored and want to snack, I would take a break from work. I would go find my partner, and we would watch a short YouTube comedy video or play a quick card game (I love playing Phase 10). Even if I had to make up the work time later, that’s ok.
Some More Tips
I want to share with you valuable tips to give your plant-based lifestyle structure. But let’s begin by understanding that weight-loss is not about following a low carb, high protein or low-fat diet while we have been led to believe.
In fact, it is important to remember that we can still gain weight even if we are eating healthy. If we are eating more calories than we are supposed to for the day, and not burning them off, we will gain weight. Plain and simple!
You can lose weight by asking yourself these questions and putting into practice the following actionable advice:
- Are you confusing hunger with thirst? Have water or tea with you all the time.
- Are you eating too much junk food? If you are, you need to read this blog post: “The Top Three Secrets that Reveal Why You Crave Junk Food”.
- Make a plan or a schedule as to what you are eating for the day. And remember that anything else you eat extra, are calories that will cause you to gain weight.
- Set a timer. Make sure to eat every 4 hours. Then eat until you’re full (not stuffed). Eating slowly is also imortant.
- Are you eating because you are stressed or bored? Keep yourself busy. Read a book, do a puzzle, etc.
Some of these tips require work, but remember that good things in life don’t always come easy!
Tips For Cooking at Home To Maintain a Healthy Diet
Just because you are cooking at home doesn’t mean your food is automatically healthier. Follow these tips to ensure your meals have a low-calorie density:
- Use spices and herbs to give your food flavor, and eliminate salt and sauces.
- Minimize or eliminate the amount of oil you are using to cook.
- Make healthy swaps. For example, buy pasta made out chickpeas or lentils instead of grain flours.
- Don’t buy frozen dinners that contain incredible amounts of sodium, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
- Use the right tools to make cooking a pleasant experience. Not having a good knife can be super frustrating! Some tools to consider are an Instant Pot and a food processor.
You will be amazed at the difference that these small changes in your cooking can make in speeding up your weight-loss goals.
I know it is easier said than done.
However, I have been through this many times, and each time I come out of it stronger. And so the next time I deviate from my path, I can pull myself together quicker, and get back on track on my healthy lifestyle.
If you want to learn how to lose weight faster at home, my advice is that you find a routine that you can stick to. Get started today!
What has your experience been trying to follow a healthy lifestyle at home? Do you struggle or do you have a routine going already? Let me know in the comment section below and don’t forget to share this blog post with someone who needs it!