One of the biggest contributors to obesity is a sedentary lifestyle. We sit while we eat, when we’re watching television, at our desks at work, and when we catch up with friends. Add some stress from the workplace into the mix and it’s no wonder why many of us are overweight, or weigh more than we’d like.
Use these simple tips to ensure you can keep off the unwanted pounds, stay healthy at work, and continue ever forward on your journey towards better health.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
Many people (myself included) love and need to start their day with caffeine. Coffee is fine, but those caramel blended Frappuccinos or similarly sugar-filled drinks will make it downright impossible to stay in shape. Instead of the dessert-like blended drinks, try a green or black tea, or even a black coffee. If you don’t find black coffee too appetizing, try adding a bit of cinnamon – it works wonders. If that combination is still too much to handle, try adding a splash of cream, but leave the sugar aside.
Drink Water Throughout The Day
Keep a large bottle of water on your desk. Fill it up. Drink it. Rinse and repeat. It is a pretty simple concept, but even just having water in plain sight and within arms reach will substantially increase your water consumption. If you want some variety, add a bit of lemon, lime, grapefruit, or carbonation to your water. Worried about the increased number of trips to the bathroom? Guess what, that’s a bit more exercise you would not have gotten in otherwise. Often times when we snack, it’s actually because we’re dehydrated, not hungry. So make it a priority to continually drink water throughout the day.
Take Short Breaks
Ideally you are utilizing a standing desk and trying to sit as little as possible, but if that is not the case or a standing desk is not available, take intermittent pauses in your day to take a stroll around the office, down the street, or up and down the stairs. I’m personally a big fan of walking meetings. If there is a meeting that does not require the use of in-office technology or the use of a whiteboard, try to have the meeting while walking around the block. It gets you out of the office into fresh air, and lets you get a bit of exercise in during your workday.
Pack Your Lunch
Think veggies, fats, and lean meats. Ideally grass-fed / free range / wild caught, but that’s a whole different conversation. The key takeaway is that when you pack your lunch, you know exactly what you are ingesting, how fresh it is, and where it comes from. Not only will it help you look better, feel better, and perform better, it also will be a bit easier on the wallet when compared to eating pricey takeout from the restaurants around the block.
A great way to achieve this is by building it into your schedule. You don’t even need to go too crazy, you just need to go consistently. It is not about what you do, it’s about consistency. Weight lift, run, practice yoga, take dance classes – whatever physical activity you prefer, just make sure it is something that you can do on a regular basis. If possible, try to get some exercise during your lunch break at work, then eat at your desk afterwards. It will break up your day, and you may even notice a newfound energy throughout the rest of the afternoon.
I love snacking. I could eat dark chocolate and candy bars all day, but I opt for the healthy snacks. Try a piece of fruit, a handful of mixed nuts, some carrots, or some yogurt and granola. Ideally you want to keep the snacking to a minimum, but that is not always possible. When you do feel that urge, go for the healthy choice. Often times, realize that the snacking may actually be out of boredom, not out of hunger. If that is the case, refill that water bottle we talked about earlier and take a quick stroll to clear your head. You will find yourself back in that productive workflow in no time.
Sit less, stand more, reward your body with healthy and nutritious food that will serve you, and get some exercise in each day. If you cannot pronounce the ingredients it probably doesn’t belong in your body. It sounds simple, but it comes down to all the small choices you make on a daily basis.
The key to making these lifestyle changes is keeping your eyes on the bigger picture – your personal well being; realizing that it is all about the journey rather than any one destination. Make changes and improvements continually along the way, and you’ll find your fitness and wellness goals are easier to achieve.