What is the effect of working long hours on your weight?

A paper by Joelle Abramowitz , an economist at the U.S. census Bureau has revealed that those who work longer tend to be bigger.
She found that women in “non strenuous ” eg office based jobs such as clerical work and accounting , who worked ten extra hours per week were 2.5 pounds heavier and for men this was 1.4 pounds heavier .

Why do long hours lead to weight gain. Firstly it is likely that if you work long hours you are less active. Only 20 percent of jobs are mildly physically active whereas 20 years ago half of all jobs were physically active. Secondly, if you work long hours you have less time for cooking and menu planning. Also if you work long hours you may sleep less and this is also associated with weight gain .

Also there is a tendency if we are working long hours to ‘reward ourselves’ with snacks or alcohol to unwind. ” I’ve worked hard I deserve a treat ” is what we say to ourselves.

The answer is to try and preplan what we eat do that we don’t fill up with sugary snacks . Research has shown that if we preplan what we will have for lunch we will eat less calories than if we go out when we are hungry and buy lunch . When we shop when we are hungry we will fill our baskets with sugary and fatty foods. ( I always succumb to the banana cake at Pret a Manger if I go there when hungry). Great ideas are to either bring in a healthy lunch to eat or decide what you are buying for lunch earlier in day and stick to that choice. Similarly, try and plan what you will eat for your evening meal when you get home. I recommend to clients that they invest in a slow cooker. You can throw ingredients in the morning so that dinner is cooking during the day and ready for you when you walk through the door.