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Remote Working: How to Manage Diet and Physical Activity

by | Apr 1, 2021 | Health | 0 comments

From classic work management to remote working, there have been numerous and essential lifestyle changes, some positive and difficult to manage.

One of the most commonly complained about issues is undoubtedly the tendency to get fatter.

Why? The calorie balance of the neo-remote worker is generally positive.

What is a positive caloric balance? Just eat more than you consume.

What causes? We’ll find out later.

This article will try to better understand the differences between the “old” work system and remote working. Above all, adapt lifestyle to any new needs – in terms of recommended diet and physical activity.


Lifestyle differences between traditional work and remote working

So step by step, we need first to understand what changed before and after the advent of remote working.

Taking employee activity as an example, differences are mainly related to:

  • moving between home-work, internal company, and work-home; for those who consumed the meal outside, this must also be considered.
  • Food availability and meal choices.

Differences in travel

The vast majority of people move with automated means: car, bus, motorcycle or motorcycle, subway, train.

A minor part of the movement is by bicycle or by foot. This is certainly the category most interested in the caloric difference between the first and the next.

Assuming a 10-20-inch shift in the outward and the same until the return (20-40% tot). Not to mention the people performing the four-fold – and the internal movements within the company, the calorie consumption can be as high as 100-200 kcal at the end of the day.

By eliminating these activities, this 100 – 200 kcal would be healthy. Multiplying them by week would become 700-1400 kcal; in one month, however, 2800-5600 kcal.

If we consider that a kilogram of fatty tissue is fat for about 7000 kcal, we immediately realize how much such an alteration in daily life can affect weight gain.

Of course, all of this would happen if the diet did not adapt logically.

Food availability and meal choices

Here a world opens up because there are many differences related to specific cases.

For some people, leaving the company and staying at home means managing their food choices independently. Not everyone has a culture, and few are willing to cook.

For this category, “getting along” often means choosing packaged foods ready for use and only to be re-generated. Besides being poor from a vitamin point of view, they are very frequently dry and dense caloric.

For others, having their kitchen and refrigerator at hand means finally choosing what to prepare without having to go around with a portable heat box. 

Having to give up a plate of risotto or a filet of fish that jumped into a hot pan.

Then there is another consideration to be made. In the workplace, the ability to draw on sweet and salty snacks, or other beverages, is linked to a rather large expense – if assessed in the year.

At home, this doesn’t happen. The “greenery” that hangs around in the kitchen environment is more likely to pass “gravy” often and willingly out of the schedule.

To give you a simple example, 25 g of crackers make as much as 100 kcal—15 g of dark chocolate 85 kcal, one cola 122 kcal, etc. With three snacks, we approached 300 kcal. When we consider that a dry pasta dish (80 g) made of tomatoes with little oil and cheese makes about 305 kcal. We immediately realize the “disaster” that we could combine during decontrolled remote working.


Thus, if we associate the saying about motor reduction and the potential abuse of stoves. Setting as an example the metabolism of a small, passive girl who went to work by exercise bike and gourmet, we would find ourselves with:

a daily reduction of approximately 150 kcal;

a calorie increase due to the out-of-meal of hypothetically about 150 kcal;

150 + 150 = +300 kcal. That’s 2,100 kcal per week. That’s 8,400 kcal in the month.

Because the normal energy consumption of a similar person is around 1800-1900 kcal, the positive energy balance would be more than 16%.

We conclude by specifying that high-calorie and weight-increasing food therapies are usually structured by no more than +10% of caloric intake to ensure controlled growth.

What To Do

What to do to avoid fat in remote working?

It’s soon said, eat less and move more.

They would be simple but not easy. It is, therefore, no coincidence that the advent of remote working had opposed impacts on the general population.

The primary trend has undoubtedly been to gain weight. But to a lesser extent, though not negligible, the opposite happens.

Why? Because most of the subjects overlooked what we had above, behaving on their laurels. Others, however, took the opportunity to better manage their rhythms or tried to compensate as they could by exceeding energy “cuts.”

By discussing the merit of “how” to avoid meeting undesirable weight growth, we could summarize the following:

  • Imposing compliance with a planned diet: there is no need to eat foods, so as not to gain weight, it is enough to choose the right foods and not to exceed the portions;
  • To close the calorie gap due to increased sedentary lifestyle by taking walks or cycling (or treadmill or cycling). Usually, twenty or forty minutes is enough;
  • In case of restrictions imposed by partial or total lock-down, promptly find an alternative home fitness to the physical exercise you used to practice.

What and how to eat?

It is impossible to summarize in a few lines the advice needed to structure a balanced diet. Let us, therefore, just suggest that:

  • If you are hungry, eat breakfast with lean, sugar-free foods rich in water and fiber.
  • Consume at least two snacks of snack-famine; options are recommended: fresh fruit, lean white yogurt, possibly a few oilseeds;
  • To enjoy a higher-calorie meal at lunch than at dinner. Italy’s collective habit is to promote carbohydrates at lunch and proteins at dinner. There is nothing against it. However, it is essential that: at least one contour of vegetables is present at all times, and pulses from cereals and potatoes are used as sources of carbohydrates, foods of animal origin are mainly lean and unprocessed, seasoning oil is used with parsimony.

To verify the correctness of the applied interventions on the diet, it is recommended to monitor the weight periodically.

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