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Waist Not

Battling the bulge.

Is your waistline growing along with your business? Unfortunately, weight gain is an occupational hazard of homebased business ownership. But how do you resist being tempted by the fridge?

"People gain weight when they work at home, because they're surrounded by stimuli urging them to eat," says Randall C. Flanery, associate professor of community and family medicine at St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri. Simple solution: Remove visual cues, such as snacks on the counter or candy by the computer. Flanery's other tips:

  • During breaks, move your legs, not your mouth. Don't head for the kitchen for coffee and a doughnut. Instead, walk around the block, do stretches or run up and down stairs. A 10- to 15-minute walk restores alertness and burns calories, too. Schedule an exercise break each workday.
  • Avoid grabbing a "quick" lunch. Give yourself at least half an hour to prepare a meal, set the table and take time to savor your food. Never eat and work at the same time. "When you're `auto-eating,' " explains Flanery, "you disregard cues about how much you've eaten and whether you're full."
  • Lonely or bored? In an office full of people, you can seek support down the hall. But when you're home alone, you may seek solace in food. Before these moods strike, plan alternative ways to address them. Call another homebased friend, play with a pet or head outside for some fresh air.

Lynn H. Colwell is a business writer in Post Falls, Idaho.

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