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Job-related Weight Gain: Battling the Bulge at Work
Too Much Food or the Wrong Foods
- 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
Too Little Exercise or Physical Activity
- Park a little farther away from the office than you actually need to. Use the same trick when keeping appointments or running errands. A little extra walking every day can make a big difference.
- If you are tied to your desk because of your phone, get a headset or use your cell phone. This will allow you to walk around as you talk. But be courteous. Make sure you do not disrupt your coworkers’ activities.
- Have meetings on the run. Discuss business during an afternoon or noontime walk, run, or jog.
- Hand-deliver a message or document instead of using email or the phone. These few steps can help you accumulate more physical activity by the end of the day.
- If you have a sedentary job, take a break every hour or two to get up, move around, or stretch.
- If your office has or is near a gym, use it! Make it easy by keeping workout clothes and an extra towel at the office.
- Take “brain breaks.” Need a minute to think something through? Trying to compose a letter or an email? Take a short walk around the block or up a few flights of stairs. Exercise helps improve blood flow to your brain, which can help you think.
- Tell your boss and your coworkers what you are doing. Don’t just disappear to go for a run or walk while at work. They will likely support your physical activity breaks when they see your improved energy level and productivity. Some of your coworkers might even join you!
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015
- Update Date: 01/07/2015