Job-related Weight Gain: Battling the Bulge at Work
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 10 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:
Plan AheadAnother major component is preparation. Advance planning can keep you focused and in control. Plan the next day the night before. Prepare meals ahead of time so you can grab them on the go. When you grocery shop, pick up small portions and buy healthy snacks or cereal to keep in your desk. If you have a refrigerator at work, use it to store foods like milk, yogurt, or salad dressing.
Too Much Food or the Wrong FoodsGrabbing 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:
- Eat breakfast. You may have more energy in the morning, be able to resist that donut at the meeting, and you won't be starving by lunchtime.
- Buy fresh produce and carry it with you so you always have a healthy snack on hand.
- Use non- or low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, or milk.
- Salad dressings are notoriously high in fat and calories. Try using just one tablespoon of dressing on your lunchtime salad.
- When you buy meat to make your lunch for work, choose the leanest cuts.
- When eating in a fast food restaurant or cafeteria, try ordering a lean roast beef or grilled chicken sandwich, and no super-sizing. Also, order items without cheese, and omit or go light on the mayonnaise.
- Drink more water. If you drink water before a meal, it will make you feel more full.
- Microwave light popcorn
- Whole wheat crackers with peanut butter
- Fresh fruit, plain or with reduced-fat cheese
- Non- or low-fat yogurt
- Carrot and pepper strips with a low-fat dressing or bean spread
- Mixed nuts and dried fruit
- A fresh fruit yogurt smoothie