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Avoid Weight Gain at the Office

Most of us have heard by now that excess sitting is a bad thing, but, unfortunately, many of us sit at desks and/or computers all day.  I don’t use a desk, but I am sitting at a computer  for far more of the day than I’d like.  The positive thing is that I’m not in an office environment which breeds other health and weight challenges besides all the sitting.  I’m not inundated with the birthday cakes and candy dish or the stress and strain of meetings or other things that are detrimental to my well-being.  However, I have certainly had my fair share of all that.

I thought I’d give you a few tips on not only how to sit less at the office and move more, but how to recognize and avoid other things that can ultimately pack a few extra pounds on us (even the gym goers).  office

1.  Sitting less.  Far more easy than you think if you put a concerted effort into it.  First off, look into if it is possible to get an adjustable height desk that allows you to spend time both sitting and standing.  You don’t want to sit all day or stand all day.  Set a timer and change from sitting to standing about every 45 minutes.  Not possible?  Set a timer to stand up every 45 minutes and either walk around or stretch.  In a meeting for longer than 45 minutes?  Find ways to shift around and fidget if you are forced to sit, but look for an opportunity to get up.  I worked at a company that sometimes had employee meetings in a breakroom.  The breakroom didn’t have enough chairs for all employees, so I always opted to be one of the people that had to stand.

2.  Move more.  You’ve probably heard this one, but if you need to speak to a fellow employee, go to their office/work area and speak face to face rather than sitting and e-mailing or calling.  When you do make or recieve phone calls, stand up and pace around or stretch or move in some way.  Sneak in extra exercise.  I used to do air squats when I went to the restroom.  Don’t work through lunch if you don’t have to (nobody usually appreciates the effort anyways).  Spend lunch being active.  Review my guide on Ways to Get In More Movement.  You can do this.

3.  Avoid birthday cake.  And other crappy food that does not promote your health or a positive body composition.  For the love of God, just say no.  Don’t feel guilty.  Don’t feel like the party pooper.  Don’t get talked into it.  Grow and spine and just say, “It’s not on my diet.”  Or lie.  “I’m allergic to cake.”  Keep a stash of mints in your desk drawer and pop one or five in whenever you are tempted to indulge in whatever non-healthy food item that someone has brought in or had delivered.  Use cinnamon mints that are strong.  Burn your mouth out so that nothing will taste good.  “I didn’t know we were about to cut cake, I just had a mint and won’t be able to taste it.”  Don’t tell yourself it’s okay to celebrate or have a taste every time something you know isn’t good for you shows up in the office.  In many offices, this stuff is often and often leads to a fat habit.

4.  Avoid food pushers and being a food pusher. There’s usually one in every office.  The person that wants to eat crap or bring crap, but only feels better whenever someone else is joining them.  They are like little devils on the shoulder.  Don’t be friends with this person.  Never go to lunch with them.  AND DON’T be that person!

5.  Avoid stress.  Oh, right!  Sure, sure.  Easy to say.  You know it’s true though.  Stress promotes cortisol promotes belly fat.  When I quit my stressful office job, I lost weight in the first month because I didn’t have all the stress anymore.  But you don’t necessarily have to quite a job to have less stress.  Spend a week noting all the times and things and people that caused you stress during the week, and then start thinking of ways to either change those triggers or change your reaction to those triggers.  Get help in this area if necessary.  Trust me, stress makes you fat.

6.  Be a champion of fat loss.  Be the person in your office that starts a weight loss challenge or organizes a lunchtime or after work walk.  Find creative ways to promote health and fat loss in your office and get as many people on board as possible.  Being the leader will make you much less likely to do the things that promote fat gain.

Lack of movement, poor food choices, and stress.  Great recipe for gaining fat.  This recipe is found at most offices.  Be a non-conformist.  Don’t follow the recipe so your butt doesn’t get as wide as your office chair.  You can do this!  Make a list of anything and everything at your office that promotes fat gain and work on avoiding those things or minimizing them.


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