Many of our clients work in an office setting. Whether it’s super corporate or crazy casual, the same temptations exist everywhere. It’s the donuts in the kitchen, the cheese puffs in the vending machine, or the huge cake celebrating a co-worker’s birthday. (That’s the third one this month!) Snacks are really hard to turn down, especially when you’re constantly surrounded by them.
Sitting at a desk all day in front of your computer isn’t going to help your waistline either. No movement plus bad food is a surefire way to inflate your spare tire. But it really doesn’t have to be like that. If you can watch what you eat and hit the gym regularly, that’s great! But there are a lot of things you can do right at your office every single day to get you one step closer to being healthier.
What follows are 16 ways for you to successfully lose weight at work:
- Drink plenty of water. Not only is water super healthy for you, but it can actually calm your stomach down a bit. If you feel that nagging rumble and it’s nowhere near eating time, drink a glass of water and wait. You’ll be surprised how often that works to suppress your appetite.
- Skip the cream and sugar. If you need to drink coffee, then forget the cream and sugar. Sure you can use the caffeine, but do you really need all those extra creamy calories? Try to drink your coffee black, or at least resort to fat free skim milk and potentially a sugar substitute. They make a number of “natural” sugar substitutes these days, so give one of them a try. Or even better, switch over to tea!
- Park in the worst spot. This holds true for shopping too. When you get to work, don’t race for the spot closest to the front door. Instead, look for a spot as far away as you can. That way you’re forced to walk all the way to the office… as well as all the way back at the end of the day.
- Walk during your lunch break. Take your allotted lunch hour to simply get moving. Go for a walk in the nearby neighborhood; just be sure you leave ample time for getting back before your lunch hour’s over.
- Forget eating out. Speaking of lunch, don’t even think of going to Burger King, McDonald’s or even the local pizza joint on the corner. Bringing your own brown bag lunch (brown bag not technically necessary) will ensure that you control exactly what you’re putting in your body. It’ll also save you a ton of money. Think about it, at it’s cheapest you probably pay $5 to $10 per lunch when you eat out. That’s $25 to $50 each week! Skip a month of eating out and you can buy an Amazon Kindle with your savings!
- Take the stairs. Any chance you get, use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. If you’re on the 100th floor, okay that may do more harm than good, so take the elevator to the 90th floor and walk the last 10 in order to lose some weight.
- Bring healthy snacks. It’s actually a great practice to graze all day. Have a few light snacks in the morning and afternoon. What can you munch on? Try things like a small handful of nuts, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, fruit, etc. Just don’t overdo it and eat your body weight in these snacks. Keep it light.
- Get competitive. Nothing gets people going more than some healthy competition. Go ahead and start up a weight loss competition with a few friendly co-workers. Or better yet, speak with your company’s HR department to see if the company will set something official up to get more people involved, as well as some great prizes.
- Get a standing desk. It may seem a bit unorthodox, but a standing desk can offer some incredible benefits, most important being weight loss and better posture. It may take a few days to get used to standing so much, but after a week or so, it’ll feel quite natural.
- Put healthy snacks in the vending machine. Tape up a note on the vending machine itself or talk to your office manager about getting healthier snack alternatives. Your best bet is to avoid the vending machine completely, but if you must give in, at least try to pick a healthy choice.
- Walk and talk. Either use a nice wireless headset or simply a cordless phone, but get in the habit of standing up and pacing around your office every time you’re on the phone. Just warn your co-workers beforehand so they don’t give you confused looks the first time you start walking in place.
- Break it. Set an alarm on your phone or computer to take a super short break every hour. Then use that time to simply walk upstairs in your office and back down. Your legs will like the stretch and your brain will enjoy the brief stress relief.
- Brush your teeth. Well, presumably you’re brushing them in the morning, or else you’ve got bigger problems to deal with! Bring an extra toothbrush and toothpaste to the office and keep them in your desk. Brush them everyday after lunch and it’ll help reduce cravings, which is an easy way to lose weight. Ever try to eat something sweet when your mouth tastes like Colgate?
- Chewing gum. Sometimes you’re not even hungry but you just have the urge to chew, so you grab a bag of potato chips to fill that urge. Instead, stockpile some sugar-free gum in your desk and chew away anytime the cravings come on. This’ll also have the added “mint” effect that toothpaste has, and tone down any cravings should you accidentally stumble upon a lonely plate of chocolate chip cookies in the breakroom.
- Workout at work. There are plenty of simple exercises and stretches you can do right at your desk. Give some of these a shot or step it up a few notches and get moving with your co-workers in an empty office somewhere.
- Leave the car at home. This may not always be an option for some of you, but if you live close enough to the office, consider leaving the car at home and pedaling it over to the office. Great for the environment and great for your health! Alternatively, you can look into taking a bus, and get off a few stops before your office, so you’re forced to get some walking in on your morning commute.
What would be on your list of ways to lose weight at the office? Add them in the comments, please.