The office can be a weight-loss battlefield. Between those well-intentioned food-focused celebrations and hours of sitting, it’s no wonder waistlines are expanding — and that pesky number on the scale seems to be moving up. But by creating healthier habits at work , it’s possible to turn things around. Here are 10 small changes to get you started:
Start your morning on the right foot with a healthy breakfast at home instead of stopping at your favorite coffee shop for pastries or the drive-thru for a greasy breakfast sandwich. If you really have zero time for breakfast at home, blend a smoothie or take these Cold Brew Coffee Overnight Proats with you for healthy homemade breakfast you can enjoy once you get to the office.
We’re all guilty of scrolling through our Instagram feed midday for a mindless distraction, but if we’re honest, it’s not energizing at all. Instead, do something for you — whether that’s creating your healthy menu plan for the week, taking a few minutes to meditate, ordering your groceries online or getting up from your desk for a walk, this little mental break and “me time” leads to more focus and attention to your work.
By having better-for-you snacks like almonds, walnuts, homemade trail mix, fresh veggies and fruit or nut butter on hand, you’ll be equipped to make better decisions (goodbye, slices of birthday cake, random donuts and souvenir treats from a co-worker’s vacation). If you have access to a fridge, cottage cheese and yogurt containers pack a protein punch to power you through to your next meal.
Whether you’re taking a bathroom break, standing up to stretch, refilling your water bottle or stepping away from your desk, try to take a movement break every hour. Standing up seems so minor, but the increased blood flow will positively benefit you with improved creativity, productivity and energy. Plus, if you take a little walk, you’ll add to your daily steps!
If the afternoon slump is getting to you and you just “need something carbonated” or “something with more flavor than water,” switch to unsweetened tea or sparkling water instead of a soda or Frappuccino. According to some studies, green tea may contribute to weight loss.
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You may be thinking you don’t have time for a lunch break or you like to work straight through so you can leave earlier, but even just a 15–20 minute break away from your desk can make an impact. Distracted eating in front of the screen while checking emails or working is a bad habit because it often leads to overeating. If you can set aside 15 minutes, it will help you to connect better to your hunger and fullness signals so you can stop eating when you’re satisfied and not stuffed.
Drinking more water is a healthy habit that can help with weight loss. If we’re chronically dehydrated and not consuming enough liquids, we may feel hungrier than we are, turning to food instead. Bringing a reusable water bottle to work can create a domino effect that breeds other healthy habits in your life.