Considering that many of us spend 40 hours (or more) at a desk each week, it's no wonder that work is a major strike against a healthy lifestyle. It's bad enough that we're sitting all day, but there are other work-related factors that contribute to an expanding waistline. Curious? Keep reading to find out why your job may be your diet's worst enemy.
- You Sit at Your Desk All Day — Going to the bathroom and grabbing lunch just doesn't cut it! Remember to get up from your desk often — this will help release your muscles while also giving your seated posture and eyes a break. Use this time to either walk around the office or stretch. Some other ideas to keep you moving: walk to a colleague's desk instead of sending an email; ask to have a "walking meeting" outside instead of in a conference room; and take the stairs over the elevator. We're also fond of quick workouts that you can do during your lunch break like going for a run, power walk, or 30-minute gym session.
- Happy Hour (or TV Time) Is Your Go-To Post-Work Activity — After a long day at work, the call of happy hour or a Project Runway marathon may seem like all you can muster. Instead of going from sitting all day at your desk to sitting on a bar stool or your couch, make time for something active. Keep a gym bag stashed under your desk as a visual reminder to hit the elliptical after work, or make a date with a friend to go to a yoga class. And because everyone deserves the occasional happy hour, schedule it for after your workout and choose these diet-friendly cocktails.
- You Eat Out All the Time (and at Your Desk) — Even if you go to the healthiest restaurant on your block, you can't always trust that every dish is going to be diet-friendly. Hidden calories come in the form of added fats or sugars, and there's no telling how much sodium may be added to a dish. Keep things healthy by eating breakfast at home and bringing a healthy lunch to work. If that seems impossible, make a goal of bringing your lunch at least three times a week. When you do go out, follow these tips for saving calories at a restaurant.
- Unlimited Office Snacks — Many offices keep the kitchen stocked with soda, candy, crackers, and chips — it's a nice perk but not if you're trying to be healthy! Resist the urge to munch on junk all day long by bringing your own healthy snacks from home like nuts, fruit, or yogurt. If you can't always resist the craving for Cheez-Its, be conscious of what you're eating. Give yourself room to have a snack-sized serving instead of grabbing a handful anytime you go into the kitchen.
- Social Pressure — Birthday celebrations, office-sponsored happy hours, and Taco Tuesdays can make it hard to stick to a healthy diet. And, let's face it, no one likes to be excluded from some good office fun! If you're adamant about eating healthy, politely decline any dessert or junk food offerings, but opt to mingle with your co-workers. If you're worried that people might find your behavior to be rude, opt for a small serving or just let your co-workers know you had a huge lunch. But, if you'd just like to take part in the festivities, do it without guilt — just keep things in moderation. You can make up for it by having a healthy lunch and dinner or hitting the gym after work.