I recently quit my high-pressure, long-working-hour management job to take some time off, learn a new field, and work from home.

After a few months of working from home, I started noticing that my pants were feeling loose. I started running out of holes to tighten my belt with any more. I had lost over an inch from my waistline with no special effort! I was amazed!

I am a pretty slim guy to begin with, but as I got older, I did get a little bit of a gut that I wanted to get rid of. Being thin with a pot belly is not attractive!

So How Did I Lose an Inch off My Waistline?

The first thing I thought of was exercise. But, I wasn’t exercising any more than before. If anything, I was probably jogging a little less than before! So, it definitely wasn’t exercise that caused my weight loss.

As far as my diet was concerned, I was definitely not eating any less; at least not on purpose. Now that I was working from home, I had time to make huge wonderful meals for myself. Maybe that was part of the answer. Hmmm….

The Big Realization

Looking back, I realized that when I was working at my office job, I never ate when I was hungry. I ate when I was starving!

My eating schedule was like this: Sometimes I’d have a small quick breakfast before work, or no breakfast at all if I was in a hurry. Then, by noon, I’d be starving. I’d have a quick lunch, work late, till seven or so, by which time I was starving again, and I’d have a huge dinner. My body was telling me when to eat, but I wasn’t listening to it! Does this sound familiar to you? I think a lot of working professionals live like this.

I worked for a small company which didn’t have a cafeteria, and they were out in the boonies far away from any good restaurants, so it wasn’t convenient to eat when I wanted to.

My New Eating Schedule

One of the best things about working from home has been the ability to eat when I am hungry, not when I am starving!

Now, I wake up at 8:30 in the morning and work till about 10AM or so. When I’m hungry, I either have a light breakfast of cereal or a more substantial one like an omelette. I work some more, and then when I’m hungry around 1 or 2 PM, I make myself lunch, maybe a turkey sandwich with salad or something like that. Then around 5 or 6PM I make myself dinner, which is often chicken, steak, salmon, or spaghetti. Later in the evening I might have a snack.

You’ll notice that all of my main meals occur during normal work hours, when it is the least convenient for most people to eat! It would be great if companies would make provisions for people to eat other meals at work besides lunch.

Another factor in my weight loss was probably lowering my stress level. I’ve heard that can be a big contributor to obesity.

What I Eat

But, I think listening to your body has got to be a good idea. Like I said, I pretty much eat as much as I want now (which is a lot!) I don’t diet – I just try to use some common sense in making food choices. Here are some rules I follow:

  • I don’t have candy or desserts in the house (I eat fruit instead)
  • I don’t have sugary soft drinks in the house
  • I only eat junk food when I’m traveling or if is being served at an event I’m at
  • I watch my salt intake, staying away from salty store-bought soups and frozen food
  • I try to stay away from processed meats like sausage, hot dogs, etc.
  • I drink nonfat milk and try to buy low fat versions of things
  • I am making more of my meals myself instead of buying processed foods.

As I said, I still do eat “junk food” occasionally if I’m out at a happy hour and they are serving hot wings and pizza (which are terrible for you but taste oh so good). I just try to eat sensibly the rest of the time and do moderate exercise (run a few miles or bike a few times a week, that’s it!)

Now I have the waistline I had when I was in college! So, remember eat when you’re hungry, not when you’re starving. I guess it makes sense!

– Brian

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