How To Stay Healthy WFH

By Georgia Hartmann

Naturopath, Nutritionist & Women’s Health Expert

I bet I’m not alone when I say that working from home has resulted in a few extra kilos around the waistline. We are out of routine, we have 24/7 access to the pantry, and the COVID-19 isolation restrictions mean we aren’t partaking in our regular exercise regime. But we cannot let this shift in our lifestyle undo all of our hard work to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

So here are my top tips to help you maintain a healthy weight while working from home.

1. Create a weekly meal plan

Set aside 10 minutes each Sunday morning and plan your meals for the week. Not only does this make your grocery shop much more efficient, it also takes away the temptation to look into your pantry every few minutes.

My guide to creating a healthy meal plan is to stick to three meals per day, ensuring each meal has a serve of protein to maintain satiety. [1]

Here’s an example of a daily meal plan that will help promote a healthy weight and keep you feeling satisfied –

  • Breakfast: ½ cup oats, milk of choice, topped with 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 tsp honey, ½ banana, and a handful of raspberries.
  • Lunch: 2 boiled eggs mashed with ½ avocado, lemon juice, and salt & pepper, served on 2 rice cakes.
  • Dinner: Chicken breast coated in 2 tbsp tamari, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and 1 tbsp honey, fried with vegetables of choice, and served with brown rice.

* Note: Always eat until you are satisfied. If you feel this is not enough food, add in snacks such as a handful of mixed nuts or a piece of fruit with nut butter.

2. Get that water-to-alcohol ratio back in balance

For many, being stuck indoors has resulted in a few extra glasses of wine each night. While this may not seem problematic, the reality is that regardless of the amount consumed, alcohol increases fat accumulation and the risk of obesity, fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and elevated cholesterol. If that’s not enough to convince you to put the bottle down, a recent study of 116, 043 participants showed that by simply decreasing alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, increasing physical activity, and optimising weight, you can live and extra 9 years of life without chronic diseases. 9 years! Almost a whole decade! [2,3]

So start by limiting alcohol to 2 glasses per week, consumed only on the weekend. And ensure you are consuming 3 litres of water daily. If alcohol is your stress relief, see the next three tips.

3. Schedule your day around exercise

Yes, you read right. I encourage you to shift your thinking and schedule your work and household commitments around exercise, rather than the other way around. Whether that is a 20-minute Fluid Form At Home class or a 1-hour walk (or both), lock it into your diary. Bold it, underline it, do whatever it takes to ensure exercise becomes non-negotiable, just as an important meeting would be.

If alcohol is your stress-reliever, know that a recent systematic review found regular exercise to be effective in treating alcohol dependence as well as symptoms of depression and anxiety (both of which are increased in this current climate). So be sure to schedule your day around exercise. Your mind and your waistline will thank you. [4,5]

1. Sleep 8 hours every night

Sleeping more than 7 hours per night improves weight loss by 33%.[6]

If you experience restricted sleep or poor sleep quality, alterations in hunger hormones (ghrelin and leptin) occur. These hormonal alterations then stimulate your appetite, resulting in overeating, particularly of carbohydrates. [7]

For optimum sleep, consider the following factors:

  • Avoid all screens 1 hour before bed
  • Go to bed at the same time every night
  • Wake at the same time every morning
  • Avoid exercising in the evening
  • Avoid caffeine after 10 am

2. Determine other factors affecting your weight

In clinical practice, I often see hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance and thyroid disorders playing a significant role in weight gain. Even if you have been told your bloodwork looks “fine” it is worth getting the specialised guidance you need to ensure your endocrine and metabolic health are functioning optimally. This is where nutritional and herbal medicine has a profound effect. Book your online consultation here.


[1] Paddon-Jones, D., et al. Protein, weight management, and satiety. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008. 87(5). PMID: 18469287.

[2] Sookoian, S., et al. How Safe Is Moderate Alcohol Consumption in Overweight and Obese Individuals? Gastroenterology, 2016. 150(8). PMID: 26775630.

[3] Nyberg, S.T., et al. Association of Healthy Lifestyle With Years Lived Without Major Chronic Diseases. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2020. PMID: 32250383.

[4] Gür, F., et al. Is Exercise a Useful Intervention in the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder? Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Health Promotion, 2020. PMID: 32212949.

[5] Gabriel, B.M., et al. Circadian rhythms and exercise─re-setting the clock in metabolic disease. Nature Reviews: Endocrinology, 2019. 15(4). PMID: 30655625.

[6] Thomson, C.A., et al. Relationship between sleep quality and quantity and weight loss in women participating in a weight-loss intervention trial. Obesity, 2012. 20(7). PMID: 22402738.

[7] Spaeth, A.M., et al. Effects of Experimental Sleep Restriction on Weight Gain, Caloric Intake, and Meal Timing in Healthy Adults. Sleep, 2013. 36(7). PMID: 23814334.

About the author: Having been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure two years prior to conceiving her first child naturally, Georgia’s passion lies within helping women overcome their hormonal imbalances through the blend of conventional and complementary medicine. For additional support, you can book one-on-one online consultations with Georgia, meaning you can be anywhere in the world! Contact Georgia via:

IG: georgiahartmann_naturopath