Power of Movement

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FIGHT Workplace Weight Gain

Lose weight at workRemember the Freshman 10 where you gained 10 pounds in your first year of college? Well, now it’s happening more as the workplace becomes a more sedentary environment from sitting at desks and computers all day. Even when you have a kick-ass workout before trucking off to the office, studies have shown that sitting for the rest of the day still poses major health threats. I know because I ended up at desk jobs where I sat, hunched over a computer, for most of the day.

I would start my day at 5:00 a.m. (if I couldn’t sleep, I would go in even earlier!) with a workout with my trainer. However, I couldn’t understand why my weight would creep up even though I ate healthy with lots of home-made salads and lunches. When I decided to make a change into the health & fitness field, I was able to shed some of the extra weight I carried without altering much else (I do recognize that I have to watch portion sizes). What was the change? I moved throughout the day. I didn’t necessarily “exercise” and teach classes but I was standing and moving my body. Duh!

Don’t get me wrong; I love a good couch-potato session as it gives my body some downtime. I do make an effort, though not daily like I should, to spend time foam rolling and stretching when I’m watching some television before bed. Not only am I NOT just sitting but I feel better afterwards and the stretching helps me not feeling tight and sore in the morning. How great is that!?

What to do if you do have a job that requires long periods of time sitting? Here are a few things you can do to start making some changes. And I promise to do some videos soon to show some stretches you can do while at work.

Bring a Huge Salad for Lunch

Forget the lunches out, and try to bring a homemade salad every day. Veggies are low in calories and full of fiber (and water to help keep you hydrated), you can eat an enormous bowl 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. Don’t ruin it with a high fat dressing but use a little flavored (or unflavored) balsamic vinegar or make your own dressing. There are so many recipes out there using just a little olive oil, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice and herbs and they taste great and have no extra chemical additives or sugar. You will also save money over buying those over-stuffed sandwiches and take-out. Be sure to vary the veggies and protein source each day to prevent boredom.

Move at Noon

I would often eat at my desk which is a no-no on so many levels. Make an effort to get out of the office and get some exercise. If you can, plan on taking a class but you don’t have to break a sweat necessarily but MOVE. Get out and go for a walk or climb the stairs in your building for 20 minutes. Scheduling time each day to exercise prevents skipped workouts, and it also gives your mind a mental break, alleviating stress that can cause you to reach for high-calorie treats.

Remember, sitting all day is dangerous for your overall health — not just your waistline!

Brush to Prevent Snacking

People who brush their teeth after eating or drinking a cup of coffee not only prevent cavities and bad breath, but also 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 the Fridge

Avoid temptation by keeping a stash of healthy munchies in the office fridge or in your desk drawer. Yogurt, cheese sticks, fruit, cut-up veggies, crackers, and even chocolate-covered peanuts offer more nutrition than a cupcake. I keep a bag of cheese-sticks, fruit, slim crackers (Wasa or Finn Crisp) and natural peanut butter in my office as go-to snacks.

Sip on Water All Day

Steer clear of soda, even diet sodas; they’re just chemicals. It’s okay on an occasional basis but not all day, every day (I used to work with someone who drank these all day long. He didn’t look healthy and the chemicals aren’t good for your teeth, either.) Stay hydrated and energized with nature’s beverage instead. Keep a reusable water bottle on your desk, and take sips throughout the day. Water is not only free of calories, but it also gives your belly the sensation that it’s full, which cuts down on mindless snacking. Don’t like the taste of water? Add some cut-up fruit, herbs (mint) or veggies like cucumbers. There are water infuser bottles available that have special inserts to hold fruit and veggies but allow the flavor to seep into the water. And, most come with recipe booklets so you can try different flavor combinations. I keep a Bobble water bottle at home to sip from and it goes with me on road trips as well.

 

I hope some of these ideas help you to get moving and to fight back the Workplace 10!

 

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