10 Ways to get slim and stay fit and healthy at work

Is sitting at your desk all day ruining your figure and making you put on a few extra unwanted kilos? Forty-four percent of the workforce says they have put on kilos while at their current job, according to a 2010 CareerBuilder survey of more than 4,800 working Americans. Those surveyed cited sitting at a desk all day (49%), stress (42%), and eating out regularly (25%) as the key contributors to their expanding waistlines.

While you could put a spunky personal fitness trainer at the top of your workplace wish list, making small changes to the way you work can yield big results if you get into a routine. “Burning off or eliminating just 100 calories per day from your actual caloric intake can lead to a weight loss of approximately 4.5 kg per year,” says Heather Mangieri, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Here are 10 easy ways to burn calories and make healthy choices in your workplace.

1. Don’t skip brekkie

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that those who passed up a morning meal were 4.5 times more likely to be obese compared with those who ate breakfast. Make sure you include protein. An International Journal of Obesity study found that those who ate two eggs for breakfast as part of a reduced-calorie diet lost 65% more weight and reported higher energy levels compared with dieters who ate bread for breakfast.

2. Get up 10 minutes early and pack your own lunch and snacks

You’ll make wise, conscious decisions about the food you want to eat during the day while your tummy is still full from breakfast.

3. Get into a routine

It’s amazing how in control you feel when you know when your next snack is coming. Set a timer and alarm on your computing device and eat to an agenda.
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4. Split your lunch

I’m not suggesting you share your lunch, but rather divide your lunch break into eating time and exercise time. Eat for 30 mins and exercise for 30 mins. You could walk for 15 and stair climb for the remaining time.

5. Leave the car at home

Cycling or power walking to work is linked to lower prevalence of obesity, especially if your commute is 30 minutes or longer, according to a Preventative Medicine study of more than 6,400 Polish adults aged from 20 to 74. If you have to drive to work, park your car in the space farthest away from your building. Or if you travel by bus or train, get off a few stops before your destination and walk the rest of the way.

6. Monitor your steps

Get yourself a pedometer and become addicted to tracking your steps and increasing the number of steps you take every day.

7. Move to work and learn

Get fidgeting; that means tapping pens, jiggling your legs, chewing gum, doodling with your pen, stretching your joints or twirling your hair – Just try not to annoy your workmates. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, energy expenditure was 54% higher when study participants continually fidgeted compared with resting on their backs. Sitting motionless burned only 4% more calories than lying prone.

8. Walk and talk

Stand up and move away from your desk when you are speaking to a colleague or talking to a client on the phone. A wireless headset can be a great option.

9. Avoid the 3 – 4pm slump

When the afternoon slump hits divert your brain drain and food cravings by: A) Getting minty. Go for a walk to the bathroom and brush your teeth or chew on some sugar free gum. It’s harder to feel hungry with minty breath. B) Walk to get two glasses of water from the tap or water cooler C) Enjoy a low calorie snack like carrot sticks with hommos and have a herbal tea instead of coffee.

10. Meet on the go

Instead of sitting in an office to discuss a work related issue, why not have your conversation on the go. Walk the office corridors, climb steps or get outdoors in the fresh air. You’ll get back to your desk energised with increased blood flow and endorphins surging through your system.