It is a mantra you could repeat in your sleep: eat less, make healthier choices, and get more exercise. But let’s face it—you are busy, and even though you have sworn a thousand times that you will lose the ten pounds you have gained since you started your job, between the doughnuts at every meeting, the vending machine down the hall, and the long hours at the office, it feels like the deck is stacked against you. Here are some tips to help you regain control of your nutrition and your weight.
In general, the culprits behind weight gain at work are no different than those that trigger weight gain anywhere else. These include:
Grabbing fast food for lunch, or skipping it entirely? As you already know, these are dietary no-nos when it comes to your weight loss plan. But a busy lifestyle does not have to mean an unhealthy diet. Here are some tips to help:
There are other things you do to maintain control over your waistline at work. Space meals out more evenly so you eat every 3-4 hours. Think before you act. Instead of candy bar boost in the afternoon, substitute it with:
Depending on your activity level, you should keep your snacks between 200-300 calories. Many food products are packaged as single servings. Take some time to read the food labels before you buy.
You already know exercise is good for you, but between the demands at work and home, there’s simply no time, right? Wrong. Here are a few ways to work exercise into your workday:
American Dietetic Association
American Heart Association
Canada's Food Guide
Heart Healthy Kit: Public Health Agency of Canada
Drink water before meals to aid in weight loss. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Eat Right website. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442468394&terms=water. Accessed January 31. 2013.
Eat right nutrition tips. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Eat Right website. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/nutritiontipsheets/. Accessed January 13, 2013.
Get moving: Easy tips to get active. American Heart Association website: Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/StartWalking/Get-Moving-Easy-Tips-to-Get-Active_UCM_307978_Article.jsp. Updated November 15, 2012. Accessed January 31, 2013.
Lallukka T, Laaksonen M, Martikainen P, Sarlio-Lahteenkorva S, Lahelma E. Psychosocial working conditions and weight gain among employees. Int J Obes. 2005;29:909-15.
Last reviewed January 2013 by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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