10 tips to knock off that office fat

by TNN


Worried young black business woman at desk in office


Repeated strain on the back and shoulders is caused by bad posture and long hours of sitting. Faulty sitting positions, poorly designed keyboards and incorrect computer placement could cause additional strain on your muscles, tendons and connective tissues. 


We spend most of our waking hours at work, and hence the crucial need for us to pay more attention to our health particularly habits like our meal timings, sitting position, snack cravings among others. Excerpted from wellness expert Namita Jain’s latest fitness book 9 to 5 Fit, we share with you her pointers on little practices that can prevent you from piling on the office pounds.

Combat stress:

If a situation at work distresses you, deal with it. At the end of the day, it is only work and not worth paying for with your life. Pin a note on your soft board in big, bold letters that you will not use food as a stress reliever. Keep a big bottle of water on your table and label it as coffee or whatever it is you are addicted to. Cultivate a hobby if yours is a stress-inducing job. Avoid junk food. Do yoga, meditation.

Eating and drinking at meetings:

When client entertainment is woven into your daily office routine, being smart about it will help you stick to your fitness goals. Make sensible food choices, and eat in moderation and stay away from deep-fried foods like pakodas, chips or nuggets. Eat something before you leave for such dinners. Make it a point to have soups and salads at dinner meetings. If it’s pizza on the menu, have it without the cheese.

Chained to the desk:

Repeated strain on the back and shoulders is caused by bad posture and long hours of sitting. Faulty sitting positions, poorly designed keyboards and incorrect computer placement could cause additional strain on your muscles, tendons and connective tissues. If being bound to your desk is unavoidable, take short breaks to simply stretch and release the stiffness and tension in your muscles. Do a couples of stretch exercises next time you are feeling drowsy at work.

Bunking breakfast:

Skipping a meal leads to a lowering of blood sugar which in turn brings on cravings for high-carbohydrate, high-calorie foods. Ignoring your first meal of the day also slows down your metabolism. If time is an issue or if you can’t have a cooked meal for breakfast, try healthy, off-the-shelf options. Muesli with low-fat yogurt or skimmed milk is good for you, and you can always carry a fruit and have it in your commute.

Erratic eating hours:

Eating without a schedule won’t take you anywhere close to your goal of staying thin. Focus on eating regularly and be mindful of how much you eat. Plan a daily food intake.

Travel woes:

In-flight meals, hotel meals…what can one do when faced with these most days of the month? If it’s a late-night flight, eat at home and carry oil-free roti rolls filled with green veggies incase you feel hungry while waiting for your flight. Even if you are hungry and accept the food tray, it isn’t necessary to eat everything on it. Walk down the aisle after your meal. At hotels pretend that the buffet counter isn’t loaded with muffins, cakes and croissants.

Five O’clock cravings:

Evening hours from 5 to 7 are important in terms of snacking. Make sure you rid your drawer of all sweets and high-calorie treats. Keep roasted salt-free peanuts. Baked snacks are also a good option, Keep cucumber and carrot sticks in the office refrigerator and dress them up with lemon juice and salt. Low-calorie, high-fibre biscuits are good options as are dates and figs.

Alcohol buddies:

The temptation to nurse a drink or more with friends after a long day at work is hard to resist. Go to any pub in your city and you will find it packed with the young working crowd. This may be fun but in the long run, you pay a heavy price for it. Don’t make it a habit of going out every evening. Self-restraint and discipline are necessary. Drinking can lead to bingeing, and you don’t know when to stop. Look for other forms of entertainment. Instead of heading to a pub, opt for a movie, a play or a concert, have a light dinner and head back home.

Make your day active:

Keeping late nights and getting up early mornings leave you with little time for exercise. If you commute by care, park it at least 15 minutes away from office and walk to work. Head straight to the washroom and freshen up before you start work in case you worried about sweating and other less important issues. Avoid taking the lift. Walking up the stairs is akin to taking your heart for a walk. Allot a time slot for trip to the office gym and make it a point to go there. This is good substitute to a trip to the cafeteria.

Different time zones:

Are you working while the world’s asleep and vice versa? Go to sleep and wake up at regular times. If your job requires that you stay awake at night, have a fixed schedule for sleep during the day. Do not nap in office at night, no matter how sleepy you are. Avoid drinking too much tea and coffee in office; it will hamper your sleep. Have a fixed time slot for exercise when you are at home. Ensure you eat light food at regular intervals.


Read more in Times of India


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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