Working a desk job means you’re spending most of your time sitting in front of a computer. As a result, losing weight might seem impossible to you, and that kind of negative thinking can take a toll on your mental health. Excess weight is not good for your physical health. But, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. There are ways to change the narrative and lose weight, and keep your job intact!
So we’re going to tell you our top 10 tips to lose weight with a desk job.
Table of Contents
1. Bring Your Own Lunch
It is tempting to go down to the local food truck or order take-out from your favorite restaurant for lunch. Sure, you might leave your desk and get some steps in the process, but you’re wasting money on food that serves little or no nutritional benefit.
Consider instead preparing lunches in advance or in the morning before work. Say no to that burger, and say yes to a pasta salad, healthy wrap, burrito bowl, or whatever you feel like. It makes sense to choose the convenient option. Still, that convenient option is adding to the compounded problem that you’re trying to solve in the long term.
Choosing to bring your own healthy lunch is an excellent option for a few reasons;
- Control of calorie intake
- Ensuring you hit all beneficial food groups
- Saves money in comparison to buying food every day
Need some guidance? Check out some great lunch recipes here from BBC Good Food. You’ll be having a lunch that the whole office will want to taste!
2. High Protein and Fiber Foods
Since the body takes longer to digest protein and fiber, high protein foods can delay hunger longer than fatty and carbo-heavy foods. An added benefit to high protein and high fiber foods is the lack of desire to snack due to reduced carb and sugar cravings.
There are numerous benefits to adding more protein or fiber-rich foods into your diet. Take a look at the follow video, where they detail some of the high fiber foods you could potentially add to your diet right here. Then, add these foods to your existing meal plans or as snacks, up to you!
3. Bring Your Own Snacks
At all costs, avoid vending machines. More often than not, vending machines are filled with unhealthy options, and they’re making matters worse, not better.
Instead, turn the draw of your desk into a personal snack draw. Pack and stack your desk draw with assorted nuts, dried fruits, snack bars, seeds, and other healthy options. Another item to consider is green tea. That way, when you require a caffeine fix, you have a healthy and beneficial option.
Want to know what snacks you could maybe enjoy on the job? Take a look at this excellent article by EatingWell right here.
4. Water, and Lots of It
There are more benefits to water than we even have time to fully explain, but let’s run through a few;
- Fights off fatigue
- Prevents dehydration (and inturn headaches)
- If you sip water instead of snacking, you’re not eating unnecessary food
- Multiple trips to the bathroom mean you’re getting some steps in
Our bodies have a natural response to act as if we’re hungry when we’re, in fact, just in desperate need of water. By curbing this feeling, you’ll avoid snacking and drinking more water. The worst thing to be at work is dehydrated, as it can lead to an inability to concentrate.
According to the Mayo Clinic, men should be drinking 3.7 liters a day, vs. women who should be drinking 2.7 liters a day.
Water is a basic human need. But needing it to survive shouldn’t be the only reason you’re drinking it. The benefits of drinking water are endless. Your entire body will be thanking you for letting it enjoy this liquid wonder.
5. Stand At Your Desk
You’re going to be stationed at your desk for the entire day. So why not carve out some time every day where you stand at your desk instead of sitting? For example, if you’re making a call, take the opportunity to do so while standing.
Standing improves your blood sugar levels and helps you lose a possible nine calories an hour. While this sounds like nothing, these two things are both contributing to an overall goal. Also, considering five days a week you’re at work, this will have long-term benefits.
6. Use Stairs Instead of Elevators
This isn’t going to be something everyone can do for obvious reasons. However, if you work, or live, in a building where there are options for getting to your floor, take the more labor-intensive opportunity. Any opportunity you get to take their stairs should be taken enthusiastically.
Once again, five days a week, two trips - one up, one down - at minimum a day. The benefits of this simple switch will vary depending on how many floors up your office is. Still, regardless it’s a benefit nonetheless. You’ll be adding a solid step into your overall plan filled with micro weight loss efforts to achieving your goal.
7. Increase Daily Steps
There are many ways in which you can increase your daily steps. If you’re able to try some of these possibilities;
- Walk to work
- Park further away from the entrance of your workplace
- Walk around the neighborhood on your break
- Walk to an eaterie for lunch
- Walk around the office while on a call (keep your co-workers in mind for this one)
None of these are perfect solutions. Some might not even be possible for you if you have a bad neighborhood, no nearby restaurants, etc. Regardless, try and add additional steps into your day wherever possible.
An article in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity recommends that inactive adults incorporate at least 30 minutes of brisk walking, which is about 3,000–4,000 steps, each day.
We estimate that the average person (someone who weighs approx. 70 kg or 160 lb) burns 0.04 kcal per step. As mentioned before, the energy expenditure depends on your height, weight, and pace, so this value might be different for you.
8. Make Sure You’re Well Rested
Never underestimate the power of being well-rested. When people need to sacrifice something in order to ‘have it all,’ they sacrifice sleep first. Stop it. You’re making things worse by not being well-rested.
Not getting enough sleep is one of the worst things you can do to your body. In the context of weight loss, a lack of sleep means your body isn’t functioning at its highest levels. It is unable to burn the fat and calories you’re consuming throughout the day. Your body is now holding onto the fat and calories, which is a hindrance to losing weight.
Many adverse effects come with not getting enough sleep beyond weight loss, from mental instability, lack of balance and coordination. Not being well-rested goes well beyond issues with weight loss, so take it incredibly seriously.
9. Prioritize 30 Minutes of Excercise a Day
This is one of the more difficult things a person can do to lose weight with a desk job. Why is it difficult? Well, who wants to come home after a long day and do more work?
Regardless of how you feel about the idea, having 30 minutes a day, five days a week, of exercise is incredibly beneficial to your desire to lose weight. While you’re home and watching television, why not exercise at the same time? You can entertain yourself and achieve your 30-minute goal easily!
However, an important note to make is not to chastise yourself if you miss a day or two. The point is trying and doing it as much as possible as regularly as possible.
10. Track Your Progress, and Create Accountability
Every time someone starts their weight loss journey, they start strong and fizzle out quickly. So how do you avoid making the mistakes of diets past?
Find a way to track your progress on every front. Sounds extreme, maybe even drastic, but it is a great way to motivate yourself.
Keep a journal and track things like;
- Your water intake
- Step goals and actual steps taken
- Excercise you did
- Food you ate
- Snacks you had
- Mistakes made and places to improve
If you’re not into the idea of journaling, try one of the countless apps that exist to help you on your weight loss journey.
The main argument to be made with keeping track of everything is that it makes you spot the exact moments when you’re slipping and not meeting the needs of your weight loss goal. Therefore, you’re creating self-accountability, and you’ll condition yourself to feel disappointed when you’re not doing well, and in turn, will motivate yourself to do better.
Doing one or more of these alone may not help much in the long run. You need to try and figure out a way to make sure all of these are things you do in your life daily. You don’t have to do excessive exercise to lose weight. A combination of the right foods, daily movement, good sleep, water, and nutrition will get you very far on your mission to lose weight. All while keeping your job.
Get started today, and let us know how it goes!