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How to Lose Weight at Work

Posted on: September 28th, 2012 by No Comments

The average workplace is a breeding ground for F.I.P.s – that’s “fatties in progress.” You’re sitting all day, often doing monotonous tasks that leave you plenty of time to daydream about – and act on – cravings for sugary, fatty foods. Oftentimes, well-meaning, roly-poly co-workers will bring in boxes of pastries loaded with white flour, white sugar, and tons of shortening, making it oh-so-easy to eat the foods you know you should never go near.

Why is it important to stay slim? Other than the obvious health benefits, the stats say professionals with a healthy weight are more likely to be hired and to receive more opportunity at work. Whether it’s fair or not, stats show that people make negative assumptions about overweight individuals. A healthy body will do more for your productivity and career than even the coolest business card.


Some use their day jobs as an excuse to skip the gym after work – they say they’re too drained after 8 or 9 hours of sitting at a desk, plus an additional hour spent in the car for the typical to- and from-work commute. 10 hours of sitting at 15 calories per hour means you burn a mere 150 calories in an entire day. Seeing as there are nearly four times that many calories in a Big Mac with cheese, the average desk jockey has no business ordering fast food for lunch – unless he’s trying to pack on some extra pounds.

The situation can seem hopeless, but it’s not. If you want to avoid weight gain and possibly even lose weight while working a full-time job, there are some strategies you can apply. Here are a few of the best.

1. Exercise at Your Deskexcersise at your desk

As hinted above, you burn only 15 calories per hour when you’re just sitting and fiddling around on the computer. By placing a little mini-cycle under your desk and peddling away all day, on the other hand, you can burn 250 calories per hour. Theoretically, that means you could burn 880 more calories during an 8-hour workday with a mini-bike than without. That’s the equivalent of three slices of pizza. This model from Sunny is rumored to be quiet enough for the cubicle. It costs $56 on Amazon.

2. Bring Your Food

If your office typically orders junk for lunch, keep in mind that you can, and probably should, opt out. But if you don’t have anything better to eat, your will power will be low and you could soon find yourself face first in a plate of fried chicken… again. Stash a bag of fruit in the office fridge or in your desk, throw together an interesting salad to take to work in the morning, or make a healthy wrap with hummus and lots of veggies so you don’t feel like you’re deprived while others gorge themselves on grease. You may be a little envious for a moment, but when you notice the increased energy better food choices can bring, you’ll start to feel smart rather than left out.

3. Walk Laps in the Office or Parking Lot

If anyone in your office takes a smoke break, you should certainly be allowed to take a 5-minute “walk break” a few times a day. You may want to clear it with your boss before you start conspicuously walking circles around the office or parking lot several times a day, but if he or she is reasonable and cares about the health, well-being, and ultimately the productivity of employees, it shouldn’t be too hard to swallow.

4. Drink WaterCustom printed sports bottles

A lot of times, people confuse thirst with hunger. Don’t be one of them. If you think you’re hungry at work, try first to drink down a few big gulps of your water bottle. Then try a few more. If you still think you’re hungry, have a water- and fiber-rich snack like an apple instead of something small and calorie-dense like a candy bar or even a handful of nuts. Candy and nuts won’t fill you up, but will supply you with a bunch of fat you’re not going to burn while sitting at work (unless you follow tip #1).