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Workplace birthdays are a killer if you’re trying to eat healthily…

Is your job making you fat? Recent studies show that excess food consumption coupled with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle at work is causing many of us to gain weight; on average 15 pounds within a year of starting a desk job.

Dubbed the ‘office 15’, it’s a common phenomenon which many men and women struggle to overcome. But getting fat through office work is not inevitable, and with our top six tips you can enjoy your day at work without feeling guilty.

  1. Prepare your meal and snacks in advance

The biggest culprit for weight gain is the unexpected snacking we indulge in when we get hungry during the day. Take control back and avoid the vending machine by preparing healthy meals and snacks the night before. Don’t be tempted to leave it until the morning though, as all too often a morning rush can leave us stranded and seeking out the sandwich shop at lunchtime.

  1. Move yourself

We may well be chained to our Triumph office desks for a large part of the day, but everyone is allowed a break! Make the most of your moments away from the desk and get some exercise when you can. Walk downstairs for a breath of fresh air, wander around the office, take some items to the boardroom storage cupboards and stretch out those muscles!

  1. Understand food ‘cues’

We are but one of Pavlov’s dogs, in that, certain smells, sounds, activities trigger food ‘cues’ which lead to a physical response. Whether it’s the beep of the snack van outside, the smell of a colleague’s coffee or simply the view of those M&M’s on the receptionist’s desk, we’ll suddenly find our mouth salivating, tummy rumbling and cravings ready to kick in. Recognise when you’re actually hungry and when you’re eating just because you always do at that moment, and say no to the craving spike.

  1. Buck the birthday trend

One of the worst things for causing poor eating habits in work has to be birthdays, and the inevitable sweet treats that come with them. When you work in a big office, birthdays can come around alarmingly frequently, leading to an almost permanent tempting treat presence in the workplace. Set a new standard for birthday traditions by bringing in a box of apples or delicious blueberries to share instead.

  1. Go out for lunch

With a busy work schedule, it can be tempting to do lunch at your desk for efficiencies sake. Not only is this not good for your stress levels, it can be bad for your waistline too. When we eat while distracted, we don’t notice how much we’re eating, or even when we’re full. Give yourself a proper break and go outside to a park or to the staff room for lunch, and focus on what you’re consuming so you know when you’re full and satisfied.

  1. Have a cheat day now and then

Life’s no fun if you’re all work and no play, so plan the occasional treat day when you give yourself a break from healthy eating. If you know you’re going to a conference with lavish catering, or that someone’s having a leaving meal, for example, plan this cheat day into your schedule and let yourself have a slice of cake to celebrate. As long as they aren’t every day, or even every week, you can still maintain a healthy body and enjoy yourself.

Making healthy choices at work doesn’t need to be difficult or painful; sometimes just being more alert, aware and mindful is enough to make some positive changes. Make use of boardroom storage cupboards to keep things clear, tidy and organised, and allow yourself to focus fully on the job at hand.

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Last Modified / Updated on: May 24, 2018 at 9:03 am

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