Smart Working: How to Manage Diet and Physical Activity

Smart Working: How to Manage Diet and Physical Activity


Moving from the classical management of the work to the smart working There have been numerous and important lifestyle changes, some positive and others difficult to manage.

One of the most commonly complained problems is certainly the tendency to put on weight.

Why? It is easy to say: the caloric balance of the neo-smart worker tends to be positive.

What is positive calorie balance? Simply that you eat more than you consume.

Which ones causes? We will find out later.

In this article we will try to better understand what differences can be deduced between the "old" working system and smart working, and above all how to adapt the lifestyle to any new needs - in terms of diet e physical activity recommended


Lifestyle differences between traditional and smart working

So, going step by step, we must first of all understand what changed between before and after the advent of smart working.

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

  • moving between home-work, inside the company and work-home; for those who ate their meal outside, this too must be considered;
  • food availability and meal choices.

Displacement differences

The vast majority of people travel by automated means: car, bus, moped or motorcycle, subway, train.

A minor part, on the other hand, travels by bicycle or on foot. This is certainly the category most affected by the caloric difference between before and after.

Assuming a movement of 10-20 'on the outward journey and the same on the return (20-40' tot) - not to mention those who performed the route four times - and also internal movements within the company, at the end of the day the calorie consumption it can also be of 100-200 kcal.

Eliminating these activities, these 100-200 kcal would therefore be positive. Multiplying them by the week, they would become 700-1400 kcal; in a month instead, 2800-5600 kcal.

If we consider that a kilogram of adipose tissue contains fat for about 7000 kcal, we immediately realize how much this alteration of everyday life can affect weight gain.

Obviously, all this would happen if the diet did not undergo a logical adjustment.

Food availability and meal choices

Here a world opens up, because there are not a few differences related to specific cases.

For some, leaving the company and being at home means having to independently manage the choice of food. Not everyone has a culture about it and few show a "desire" to cook.

For this category, "getting by" often means opting for packaged foods, ready to use and only to be regenerated. In addition to being poor from a vitamin point of view, they are very frequently dry and dense in calories.

For others, on the other hand, having your own kitchen and refrigerator available means finally being able to choose what to prepare, without having to go around with a portable thermal box having to give up a dish of risotto or a very hot pan-fried fish fillet.

There is also a further consideration to be made. In the workplace, the possibility of drawing on sweet and savory snacks, or drinks of various kinds, is linked to a rather substantial expense - if evaluated during the year.

At home, this does not happen; therefore, the "gluttonous" who wander around in the kitchen are more induced to transgress "grignottando" often and willingly unscheduled.

To give a trivial example, 25 g of breadsticks make up 100 kcal; 15 g of dark chocolate 85 kcal, one cola 122 kcal etc. With three snacks we have touched 300 kcal. If we consider that a plate of dry pasta (80 g) with tomato with little oil and parmesan makes about 305 kcal, we immediately realize the "disaster" that we could combine during unchecked smart-working.


Therefore, combining what was said about motor reduction and the potential abuse of snacks, taking as an example the metabolism of a girl of medium build, sedentary but who went to work by bicycle, and basically greedy, we would find ourselves with:

  • a reduction in daily expenditure of approximately 150 kcal;
  • a caloric increase due to between meals hypothetically of about 150 kcal;

150 + 150 = +300 kcal. Which in the week are 2100 kcal. What in the month are 8400 kcal.

Since the normocaloric energy consumption of such a person is around 1800-1900 kcal, the positivity of the energy balance would correspond to over 16%.

We conclude by specifying that high-calorie food therapies aimed at weight gain are usually structured no more than + 10% of the norm-calorie, in order to ensure controlled growth.

What to do

What to do to avoid gaining weight in smart working?

It is easy to say, eat less and move more.

Simple but not easy, many would reiterate. It is therefore no coincidence that the advent of smart-working has had diametrically opposed impacts on the general population.

The biggest trend has undoubtedly been to gain weight; but to a lesser extent, albeit not negligible, the opposite occurs.

Because? Basically because most of the subjects have neglected what we have explained above, resting on their laurels. Others, on the other hand, took the opportunity to better manage their own rhythms, or tried to compensate as they could by exceeding with energy "cuts".

Entering into the merits of "how to do" to avoid encountering unwanted weight growth, we could summarize the following:

  1. Forcing oneself to respect a programmed diet: there is no need to "weight" the foods, in order not to gain weight it is sufficient to choose the right foods and not to overdo the portions;
  2. Bridging the caloric gap due to a greater sedentary lifestyle by engaging in walking or cycling (or treadmill or exercise bike). Usually, twenty or forty minutes is enough;
  3. In case of limitations imposed by partial or total lock-down, find an alternative promptly home fitness to the sporting physical activity that was practiced before.

What and how to eat?

It is impossible to summarize in a few lines the advice necessary to structure a balanced diet. So let's limit ourselves to suggesting:

  • If you are hungry, have breakfast with lean foods with no added sugar, preferably rich in water and fiber;
  • Consume at least two hunger-break snacks; recommended options are: fresh fruit, low-fat white yoghurt, possibly a few oil seeds;
  • Prefer a higher calorie intake at lunch than at dinner. Your country's collective habit is to favor carbohydrates at lunch and protein at dinner; nothing to the contrary. However, it is important that: at least one vegetable side dish is always present, legumes alternate with cereals and potatoes as sources of carbohydrates, foods of animal origin that tend to be lean and unprocessed are chosen, seasoning oil is used sparingly.

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

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