Work is a big part of many people’s time and it can affect all aspects of everyday living. Juggling a demanding full time job, a home, family, friends and all other responsibilities could be leaving you with little time to do anything else. Losing weight when working full time can be hard not only because your work could be leaving you sort of time but also because your work could be the source of your weight gain.
Having a plan is probably the most vital point for managing a weight loss plan. Losing weight can be a lengthy process; you may be able to manage 1 week maybe 2 without any hiccups. But if you are in it for the next couple of months you could easily lose track or just get bogged down by everything else.
Before choosing the diet plan you want to follow think:What kind of job do you do? For example do you do an office job or are you always on the go; do you work shifts or 9-5 Monday to Friday pattern. These are all factors which can influence your eating and dieting patterns.How much time do you have to spare. It not good to try to commit to an intense exercise plan and complicated meals if you hardly got the necessary time. First find how much time you have (even if not at all) and then look at what plan suits you.What are your job demands and schedule? Going out for business meals, travelling, dealing with stressful situations or working long hours can all contribute to an expanding waistline and bad eating habits.What is your lifestyle like? Your lifestyle outside your job can influence your weight as much. Things like kids, busy social life, family dinners, and lazy partners can all play a role.
Put all these factors together. Make a diagram of what your lifestyle and work is like. Based on that, you can then look at a plan which is best for you.
We may all have been there at some point in our lives. We look at the mirror or try that outfit on and realise that we look nothing like the person we used to be. However, making big decisions and super plans on the spur of the moment doesn’t usually reflect reality. Do motivate yourself but do also remember that you are not super-woman/man. Always think what is realistic and set goals which you can reach easily. Losing a couple of lbs every week may be slow but not hard to do or going to the gym twice a week may be more feasible than going 6 days a week. See also: Benefits of losing weight slowly
Studies suggest that people who have support are more likely to succeed in losing weight. This can be true for many of reasons. Well think about it. Having someone to talk to when things get tough, push each other to stay on the diet, motivate one another or even compete a little bit, are all factors which can help in following a weight loss plan and losing weight.
If you spend a lot of time in work why not have a work weight loss buddy and help each other. However, if you can’t find someone to share your goals with at the office then why not team up with a friend or a family member.
Similar to having a diet buddy, diet tools can help you keep on track, get new ideas and recipes and also see how much progress you are making. Seeing the results can often be enough to motivate you. There are a number of different tools on the internet and they include food diaries, calorie counters, BMR calculators, and recipes.
Sometimes looking at the root of the problem is a good way forward. Your job could be responsible for your weight gain in more than one ways. Start by thinking the simple and obvious things like the biscuit tin in the staff room, the canteen lunch and calorific snacks, the business meals or grabbing something to eat on the go. However, apart from what you can measure and see there could also be aspects of your job which you don’t usually consider as fattening. Stress can be a major and common example. When stressed we tend to crave highly calorific foods; also research suggests that stress can affect how we process and where we store the calories we consume.
Other examples are shift working and lack of sleep. Working night shifts or mixed patterns (day and night) can influence the timing of your meals and hunger patterns. In addition, studies show that it can disrupt your circadian cycles and hormonal processes, all of which can lead to an expanding waistline. Well changing your job may not be the solution but taking plenty of rest, improving quantity and quality of sleep and distressing may be a way of dealing with it. (See also Practical ways to start losing weight)
Lunch can be a tricky matter. Canteen options are not always the healthiest or the tastier for that matter. Being on the go, having something fast and easy and the everyday question of what to have for lunch may be familiar to many people. Preparing your lunch box from the night before can make all the easier to stick to your weight loss diet menus. In the morning people tend to rush to sort the kids out, take the dog for a walk, get ready, run to work etc. Having to think about a lunch box or even finding the time to prepare something healthy can be a hard job.
It can be even easier if you make an extra portion of whatever you cooked for dinner and pack it up as your next day’s lunch. As an added bonus it could provide some respite to your daily expenses.
Most people tend to take their lunch while still working in front of a computer or at their desk. Although it seems like a good idea to save time it is not very good for your weight or health. Some studies suggest that eating in front of a computer or at your desk while working can lead to making poor meal choices, overeating and possible digestion issues.
Your lunch time is the time where you can have a break, walk around, talk to people and enjoy your meal. Removing yourself from your desk and work for that time can also help in benefiting your general health. Even if you do have your meal at your desk is recommended that you stop working. Pay attention on how much you eat and ideally bring in your own lunch from home. Take away meals can be heavy, high in calorie and fat content.
Business meals, office days out, training buffets, etc they can all be unavoidable and a nightmare for your weight loss diet. Picking on a salad when everybody else is having the full Monty is not always as easy either. What can you do? There are always healthier options in a menu. For example opt for grilled, poached, steamed or baked rather than fried or cooked in loads of oil or butter. Also best avoid heavy, and/or buttery, and/or creamy sauces and opt for light lemon/wine sauces, light tomato sauces. Things like grilled fish or grilled meats (any red or white meat) can be a healthier option especially if combined with salad or vegetables. See also: 100 calorie snacks and 5 servings of vegetables per day.
A number of commercial diet plans do tend to include advice for eating out. If opt for a commercial one it my worth making a list of food options you can have when eating out. In addition, chefs and cooks are usually happy to slightly change a recipe such as not add butter, or grill the food, or serve a sauce on the side.
A lot of the desk exercises involve stretching. They are unlikely to hit high on the calorie burning however they can help you relax, avoid getting back and neck aches, and is definitely better than standing still for 8 hours. Some are more complex and challenging. Choose the ones which suit your preferences and your working environment.
This is not the kind of functional training you may have in mind. To explain; I call it functional as it is about turning everyday functions into exercise and/or exercising while you are doing everyday functions. For example cycle to work, or walk to the shops and carry some light shopping back. It may sounds as trivial and hardly functional but actually is the opposite.
Going shopping, going to work, going up and down the stairs are all functions we do every day. Are you dropping some papers to a different floor in the office? Use the stairs. If you do that 5 times a day I bet you will be getting fit. Combine it with cycling to work, or walking to work if it is close enough. Get off one stop (i.e. bus, train etc) before your destination and walk the rest. See also exercises to lose weight and 5 fun ways to lose weight.
If you look around you will see tones of different activities which you do day in – day out and they could easily turn into an exercise opportunity.
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Hara Hagikalfa completed her BSc(Hons) in Health and Exercise Science, Sports Science and Medicine. She is a certified Personal Trainer and Pilates instructor. You can learn more about Hara here, and connect with her on Facebook.