Over the years, I have tried diet after diet and fad after fad to try to help me lose weight. After nearly 30 years of personal research and trial and error, I’ve discovered that the only way to lose weight and keep weight off is through healthy eating, portion control, and exercise.
However, for those of us who have a job outside of the home, work can prove to be quite challenging on the diet and exercise front. The following tips may help you stay on track with your healthy eating and perhaps even give you a few extra steps to log for the day or the week.
Brush your teeth to stop mindless munching. We all get bored during work at one point or another, and sometimes we reach for those oh-so-convenient snacks in the machine because we think we’re hungry. Or we think we need some energy. Try brushing your teeth first and foremost when you start to get bored. Who wants to eat a gooey candy bar right after brushing their teeth? Not me! I like the feeling of clean teeth and minty fresh breath!
Eat a high protein, low sugar breakfast. Obviously it’s important to eat a healthy breakfast as eating breakfast means no snack attack mid-morning. And if the breakfast is high in protein, it will stick with you longer. I have a serving of oatmeal with peanut butter and a sprinkle of flax seed and nuts (pecans, walnuts, whatever floats my boat), no milk, no sugar… this will last me 3 to 4 hours if all I’m doing is sitting at my desk.
Park as far away as you can from the building. Want some extra steps to log for the day? Park as far away from your office building as you possibly can. If you wear heels, bring walking or running shoes to cover the distance. Who knows! You might get an extra 2000 to 4000 steps a day (approximately 1 to 2 miles), or 10,000 to 20,000 steps per week (approximately 5 to 10 miles). And you might appreciate that little 5- to 10-minute walk right after work to detach from your busy day!
Stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of water at your desk to sip on regularly. Once you’ve reached the stage that you’re actually thirsty, you’ve gone too long without water. If you don’t like plain water, try some homemade fruit-infused water instead. Add strawberries, lemons, mint, cucumber… anything to make it taste yummy. Another trick to try is to drink a half or a whole cup of water before each meal or snack. Not only will this hydrate you, you’ll feel fuller faster.
Take a walk. When you’re feeling tired or bored at work, get up, take a break, go outside for some fresh air, and walk around the building. Guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and more awake. And if you’re able, try to squeeze in a quick walk after you eat your lunch. You’ll feel better in the afternoon, and you’ve just added more steps to your step counter! Score!
Keep healthy snacks handy. Never leave anything to chance and always plan ahead. There are going to be times when you will absolutely need a snack. To avoid the snack machine sabotage, keep a healthy snack within reach, just in case. For some great healthy snack ideas, I found that Nuts.com has some great options on their Healthy Snacks page, all for about 160 calories or so. Having had hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) my entire life, I need to have a snack with me at all times, and my snack of choice usually includes nuts or peanut butter. I need the high protein that nuts have in order to keep my blood sugar level.
Take the stairs. If I had stairs in my building, I’d run up and down one level every hour! What a great way to re-energize and get a quick workout in! So what if you’re on the 6th floor! If you start taking the stairs on Monday instead of the elevator, think of how much more fit you will be in 1 month! Again… wear running or walking shoes to make those extra steps a bit more comfortable!
It’s important to plan ahead and to just keep moving! Take control of your health and diet at work… don’t let it control you!