It's no wonder that work is a major strike against a healthy lifestyle, considering that many of us spend 40 hours (or more) at a desk each week. It's bad enough that we're sitting all day, but there are other work-related factors that contribute to an expanding waistline.
Many offices keep the kitchen stocked with soda, candy, crackers, and chips. Not to mention the birthday celebrations, office-sponsored happy hours, and “Pizza Fridays” can make it hard to stick to a healthy diet. And let's face it, no one likes to be excluded from some good office fun! So take charge of your work life, and add these healthy habits to your daily to-do list. They can certainly help you prevent packing on those desk-bound pounds.
Try Not to Sit at Your Desk All Day — Going to the bathroom and grabbing lunch just doesn't cut it! Remember to get up from your desk as often as you can — this will help release your muscles while also giving your seated posture and eyes a break. What's more, it also gives your mind a mental break and alleviates stress that can cause you to reach for high-calorie treats. Use this time to either walk around the office or stretch. Some other ideas to keep you moving: walk to a colleague's desk instead of sending an email; ask to have a "walking meeting" outside instead of in a conference room; and take the stairs over the elevator. We're also fond of quick workouts that you can do during your lunch break like going for a run, power walk, or 30-minute gym session.
Bring a Huge Salad For Lunch — Skip the lunches out, and aim to bring a homemade salad every day instead. Low in calories and full of fiber, you can eat an enormous bowl of veggies without doing damage to your waistline. Include a variety of greens and fresh veggies in your salad, along with a low-fat protein source like chickpeas, cottage cheese, baked tofu or tempeh, or grilled chicken. And don't forget to pack a low-cal dressing or keep it simple with a squeeze of lemon and cracked black pepper. Packing a salad for lunch doesn't just keep your calories in check—it can save you money, too. Be sure to vary the veggies and protein source each day to prevent boredom.
Use Your Minty Breath to Prevent Snacking — After you finish each meal, snack, or that cup of joe, hit the bathroom for some dental hygiene. Not only will brushing your chompers prevent cavities and bad breath, but your minty mouth will remind you that you already ate and aren't really hungry for a handful of M&M's from your co-worker's desk.
Keep Healthy Snacks Stashed in Your Desk Drawer — All those platters of goodies in the break room can knock you off the healthy path. So, avoid temptation by keeping a stash of good-for-you munchables in the office fridge or in your desk drawer. Yogurt, cheese sticks, fruit, cut-up veggies, crackers or carob-covered peanuts offer way more nutrition than a cupcake.
Sip on Water All Day — Did you know that a 12-ounce Coke is 13 calories? And we’re not mentioning the sugar content, by downing a can of soda each day adds 715 calories to your workweek. Stay hydrated and energized with nature's beverage instead. Keep a reusable water bottle on your desk, and take sips throughout the day. Water isn’t just calorie-free; it gives your belly the sensation that it's full, which cuts down on mindless snacking.
- "Is Your Job Making You Fat?" CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.
- "Prevent Weight Gain at Work." FitSugar. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.
- "Prevent Workplace Weight Gain." Womenshealthmag.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.