Tips to Lose Weight at Work
Working at an office can make it difficult to lose weight. All those hours sitting, all the lunch meetings, and all the donuts can really start to add up! In fact, one study found office workers today burn 2,000 fewer calories than they used to, meaning Americans are (on average) 26 pounds heavier![i] Leading a busy professional life can also create time challenges, making it hard for you to make it to the gym or cook a healthy dinner. For everyone trying to stay healthy and lose weight at work, we’ve gathered some of our favorite tips to break unhealthy habits and shed pounds at the same time.
Start the day right. Get things off to a promising start by eating a healthy, balanced breakfast. Getting some good protein and fiber in there will fill you up more, making it easier to say “no” to the donuts at your first meeting of the day! >>>Check out this free guide to 2 weeks worth of healthy breakfasts!
Change up the commute. Instead of driving, bike to work or use public transportation. You’ll be more likely to lose weight because of the extra exercise.
Eat first. If you know going into an afternoon meeting there will be snacks, fill up on a healthy snack of your own first to better resist temptation. The same goes for lunch meetings out. If the restaurant of choice doesn’t have healthy options, eat your own lunch first.
Bring your own lunch. Portion sizes at restaurants are often much bigger than the need to be, adding more calories than you really need and encouraging you to over eat. Being in charge of what you eat is the key to losing weight. It’s cheaper than eating out, and you get to pick what goes in your body.
Reduce your stress. It’s a well-known fact stress ultimately contributes to weight gain. While you might initially shed a few pounds, the long-term effect is certainly an increase in weight. One thing that will help you lose weight at work is figuring out how to lower the levels of stress in your life to avoid emotional eating.
Trade this beverage for that. Invest in an instant kettle for your office and keep tea on hand to drink instead of soda. Since coffee is probably a must-have to get through your afternoon, buy a French press and use that instant kettle to make a pot of black coffee to enjoy rather than going out and buying a latte. >>>Get a complete list of healthier beverage alternatives here
Just say NO to the vending machine. It might have healthy options, but it’s bound to have unhealthy options too. In any event, the “healthy” options offered are probably junk food in disguise. It’s better to bring your own snacks and not even go there.
Move around more. Part of the trouble with a desk job is the lack of movement helping keep the pounds off. For informal meetings, try taking them outside and walk while you brainstorm and go over general tasks.
Avoid unnecessary temptation. While it’s a nice gesture to keep a bowl of candy on your desk for visitors, you can end up being the one to eat more than your visitors. Move the jar out of your line of sight.
Work standing up. It might take a little getting used to, but standing up while you work (or at least walking around while you’re on the phone) can help you burn more calories than staying seated all day long. It’s also been suggested your productivity might increase because of increased blood flow to your brain[ii].
Get a pair of work shoes. Keep a pair of tennis shoes and a set of workout clothes in your office. This simple strategy makes lunchtime workouts easier, and gives you fewer excuses to now hit the gym on your way home if you didn’t have time to get your gear together at home before you left in the morning. >>>Get motivated with more exercise excuse busters
Change your view. Sitting for long periods of time increases your risk for heart disease. Set timers every hour or so to get up and move around. Even just a trip to the bathroom or water fountain will do. As a bonus, you’ll find you can probably focus better for the breaks rather than powering through for long chunks of time!
Fight the afternoon snack attack. At some point in the afternoon between lunch and dinner, it’s not uncommon for our energy to drain, tempting us to grab a coffee or eat a sweet snack to get our energy levels back up. Be prepared for this by having a power snack ready to go. A combo of protein and fruit is a good way to go: fruit to give that immediate energy boost, and protein to keep you full until dinner. >>>Use any of these 31 days of healthy snacks
Some exercise is better than no exercise. There are several free apps that make working out a cinch, guiding you through short interval training routines (one of our favorites is the Seven Minute Workout). Using a pedometer is also a good way to keep track of how much you’re moving. If you’re not into using technology, you can also use our free exercise guide.
Don’t let your desk job rob you of living a healthy life or getting to your ideal weight! Pick one or two tips to incorporate into your routine this week, and add a few more next week. You’ll start building new health habits that will not only help you lose weight at work now, but will help you keep it off in the future.