Anxiety and Sedentary Job Causing Weight Gain



I used to train for around 1-2hrs per day when I worked night shift, now I work day shift in a sedentary job.

I have put on 8kg over 18 months (after surgery to remove excess skin) and am trying to lose this weight and tone again.

I have been able to increase my exercise from 0 and incidental to 30 mins 4-5 days a week. (2 x per week I am able to get in a walk for 1 hr).

I have low iron levels and this fatigue coupled with anxiety of gaining weight again, makes it difficult for me to get up earlier than I already do to start my day (around 6am) or at night ( I go to bed at 9.30pm).

I am 36, 84kgs 5’7.

My heaviest weight was 140kgs (over 3yrs) and I lost that weight by increasing my exercise and decreasing calories (which as your article explains is easier to do when you are obese) but now I find it harder and harder to reduce calories.

I try to stick to 1200-1600 per day, and use meal replacement mixed on water with fruit to achieve my calorie allowance.

I do not want to ever be 140 kgs again and it worries me that with low energy (and motivation) and little exercise, I am destined to gain weight again?

Do you have any advise?

Kathryn Davis.


Hi Kathryn,

It sounds like your biggest problem is the combination of a sedentary job with a different shift pattern and a lack of exercise.

The change in shifts has likely upset your body rhythm and this often results in people compensating for tiredness with more food. Also, the reduction of 1-2 hours of daily exercise to 0-30 minutes means that you are burning far fewer calories every day.

The overall result is weight gain. 8kg is a lot of weight to gain, but spread over 18 months this is just 100 grams per week. This is really a very small weekly change – the problem is that you have consistently been gaining it for 1 1/2 years.

The solution is to increase exercise once again – find a way to fit it into your new work schedule, and improve your diet. There is a good chance that you are sometimes snacking on food that is not good for you, such as bread, cakes and other high GI foods (you can learn more about this from our ebook). If you were eating only 1200-1600 Calories a day you will not be gaining weight. There must be some days that you are still eating too much food.

When we get tired we naturally grab a sugary snack to boost fuel to our brain cells. Slow release carbs need to be consumed to stop the blood sugar spikes and crashes.

You did it before so you can do it again. Your current BMI is 29.00 which means that you are bordering on obese. Take action now and you can bring this down to below 25.

One Comment on “Anxiety and Sedentary Job Causing Weight Gain

  1. Hello Kathryn,

    Jonathan did make a good point in his advice on eating carbohydrate containing foods

    “When we get tired we naturally grab a sugary snack to boost fuel to our brain cells.”

    However I don’t agree with his next statement below

    “Slow release carbs need to be consumed to stop the blood sugar spikes and crashes.”

    I had the same problems as you and you will only compound them by eating a low calories low to no fat carbohydrate diet
    This eating pattern coupled with intense exercise and work and you are setting yourself up for depression at worst and giving up altogether and either getting fatter or staying the same

    Here is what I did, although anecdotal here is my 2 cents

    I lost 49 lbs in 5 weeks easy
    How ??
    I started eating a low carbohydrate (not zero) good fats diet
    My blood pressure dropped from 159 over 90 to 121 over 69 in a couple weeks of starting
    I have more energy than ever
    I feel young again
    I didn’t exercise those 5 weeks either
    Or take vitamins
    Here is the plan
    Monday thru Saturday eat no more than 30 grams of carbohydrates a day of you go over no big deal I did some days and still lost
    Then on Sunday eat whatever you want all day pancakes pizza soda tacos whatever enjoy yourself then Monday back on plan

    Sample of what I ate
    2-3 whole eggs scrambled any style ok
    Full fat cheese cheddar etc
    Sour cream
    Sausage or bacon not turkey bacon
    Or a burger patty
    Coffee with heavy cream and Torani sugar free hazelnut syrup

    Salami and cream cheese with 2 whole wheat crackers count carbs

    Or celery tomatoes and ranch with a hard boiled egg and cheese

    Or turkey Roll ups

    Wendy’s chicken sandwich no bread lettuce and tomato cheese
    Salad with ranch dressing
    Diet coke

    Same as above

    Steak and eggs with broccoli and cheese melted and olive oil drizzled on top

    Or salmon salad with balsamic vinegarete
    Diet coke or another coffee or crystal light

    Or roast chicken with salad and cauliflower mash and lots of butter and salt
    Late snack
    Sugar free jello with heavy sugar free whip cream
    Or sugar free ice cream

    That’s it
    You can do it
    Read Gary Taubes Why We Get Fat Book and Good Calories Bad calories

    And for reference The Atkins Diet 1972 version not the watered down soy bean version of the 2000s you don’t have to follow it but it has good info

    Don’t believe the hype about calories in calories out or made to feel guilty cause your eating too much lies
    Now I walk in the morning for 30 mins and stretch after and do yoga for fun but not to lose weight for fun

    Remember I didn’t count calories and lost and probably ate more than you
    Try it for yourself then make a decision to continue or not

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.