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How to Not Gain Weight at Work

The Post-Graduate Freshman 15 Is Real

The freshman 15 is notorious among inbound college students, but after graduation, a similar predicament plagues many young people. Once you start your first full-time desk job, it's surprisingly (and frighteningly!) easy to pack on pounds. It wasn't until I tried to zip up my favorite LBD for a friend's holiday party that I realized how much weight I had unknowingly put on my first year out of school.

The good news is this problem is far from inevitable. Starting these healthy habits as a preventative measure will ensure your success. As an added bonus, you'll also be happier and more proactive in your work environment.

Pack your lunch: It's nice to enjoy an occasional lunch out with new coworkers, but it should not be an everyday occurrence. Going out too often is an easy way to pack on pounds and wipe out your funds. If you're worried about the effort and cook time it takes, try one of these healthy leftover recipes that are even better the next day. You can enjoy one of these recipes for dinner, and quickly pack up the leftovers. You'll be forced to practice portion control and start taking stock of what you're eating — otherwise you won't have lunch for the next day!


Pencil in workouts: Just like an important meeting with your boss, it's essential that you pencil in workouts to your schedule. When you're starting a new job, finding time to exercise might seem impossible, but boosting your endorphins and energizing your body through movement is some of the best defense against office weight gain and fatigue. Don't even let the idea of skipping your run or class be an option! Make sure to take necessary precautions to stick to your workouts.

Drink more water: Water is a magical elixir. It energizes your body, keeps your immune system working in your favor, and banishes pesky bloat. Fill up a bottle on your desk multiple times a day, and do whatever is necessary to make sure you keep on drinking. Not only will it keep you feel fresh, it can prevent unnecessary snacking. Many people confuse the sensations of thirst for hunger, especially when their minds are busy working.

Keep reading for two more helpful tips.

Treat yourself sparingly: An occasional indulgence is absolutely necessary for continued success. But occasional does not translate to every day. Every time there's an office birthday or a batch of celebratory cookies, be sure to offer your kind wishes and gratitude, but know that you don't have to partake in the sugar frenzy. This rules also applies to office happy hours. You want to avoid getting too tipsy in front of your coworkers and boss, and there's no reason to load up on the empty calories a ton of cocktails brings to the table.

Plan active dates: When you're starting a new job or moving to a new city, naturally, you'll want to establish new relationships and create a new network of friends. There's no need to make every one of these outings revolve around food and drinks. Suggest active plans like going for a hike, heading to a yoga class, or trying a crazy outdoor bootcamp. Not only will this help you stay in shape, it will help you save money!

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