Friday, February 5, 2010

When you have a desk job

Sometime last year I had to move to a new group at work. While the work was tremendously exciting, it also meant being under a lot more pressure, and with a free cafeteria at work, I dealt with it in the easiest way possible. I ate. And I ate some more. And before I knew it, I had gained a lot of weight, and how did I deal with it? Thats right. I ate still more.

Luckily for me, a visit from a fitter and slimmer friend jolted me back to reality. Seeing your physically fit friend from college, who may even have dropped a few pounds since, while you're on your way to tripling your waist size? Yeah, that usually does the trick! So I decided to take charge of things. I started to read up a lot of articles on health and fitness, but mainly I paid attention to things that I could do during the day at work that would contribute to my general health and fitness. Here are few things that I have started doing: 
  • Don't ignore breakfast. Have a filling breakfast, no matter how busy you are, as it'll help you stay full (and more focused) all day long.
  • Drink lots of water. While there are several theories on the net, the only reason why I recommend it, is that often, when you are thirsty, you sub-consciously think that you're hungry and eat to compensate. Drinking water regularly keeps you hydrated and also satiates your thirst so that you don't snack unnecessarily.
  • Guzzle 'em green teas! Sitting at your desk in front of a computer all day can sometimes get monotonous and you may snack just to entertain yourself (those coffee breaks!). Having a cup of green tea at your desk that you can sip on while you work, will take the edge of your snack cravings and will fill you up with 0-calorie antioxidants and other goodies that boost your metabolism (something that you can really use in a sedentary job!). Oolong and Rooibos teas are also great for you. Take your pick!
  • Snack healthy. I know this is so much easier said than done, but you must make a conscious effort. Fruits are usually good tasting snacks. Eating apples/pears/oranges is not only healthy but provides your body with a lot of fiber and keep you full longer. Nuts are also a good choice. They are protein-rich and sources of good, heart-healthy fats. Eating a handful of peanuts will keep you full for much longer than say a bag of chips. 
  • Don't fall for the granola bar myth. I've heard from several people about how they keep a box of granola bars at work to snack on as they're supposedly healthy. However, pay careful attention to their contents. A lot of bars are loaded with sugar. I would switch them with real nuts if you're craving something crunchy. 
  • Eat frequently throughout the day. Smaller "meals" spread over the day are more effective in keeping you full. Don't rely on just breakfast and lunch to keep you full until dinner. Instead incorporate other small meals as well and munch on healthy stuff every few hours.
Lastly, work out at least once a week, if you can't more often. Not only does it help you burn some calories, but the next time you reach for that cookie, you will recall just how much sweat you would need to break on the treadmill to burn all those calories! 

*Please note that I'm not an expert in diet/fitness. Take my advice at your own risk! :)



  1. I'll try and see if i can follow this regimen! This sedentary lifestyle during the day is adding a lot of pounds to my belly.

  2. Some great points out there - nice job :).
    But I swear by gronola bars.. :). They are usually healthy... and they help you contain your meal size. Nuts on the other hand.. are addictive I believe, at least for me.

  3. Hey, I didn't know you blogged! This is fun, I'll come check you out some time. Belated welcome to the club and all that. :)