It’s easy to trip up on our diet and exercise goals when holed up in an office all day. But that doesn’t mean you have to surrender in the battle of the bulge.
Fox News spoke with Lauren Blake, a dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and Angel Planells, a Seattle-based dietitian and spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about some common diet mistakes people make at work, and how to fix them:
1. You sit for hours on end.
Sitting too long can really sabotage weight loss goals because every movement counts, Blake said. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or go for a brief walk around the office every 30 – 45 minutes, Planells recommended.
2. You aren’t prepared for a hunger attack.
If you don’t have healthy snacks on hand, you’re more likely to head for the vending machine or mindlessly reach into the office candy jar. Blake and Planells recommended keeping healthy snacks like fruit and nuts on hand.
3. You suffer from on-the-job stress.
Chronic stress can trigger cortisol, a stress hormone that leads to fat storage and sugar cravings, Blake said. Try taking deep breaths, giving yourself small breaks, or going for a walk to manage your stress levels, she recommended.
4. You eat at your desk.
Eating at our desks “is a big no-no,” Planells told Fox News. When you do so, you’re not as mindful of what you’re eating, and you may overeat, he explained. Opt for a common dining area instead.
5. You don’t get enough sunshine.
Studies have shown sun exposure is associated with a lower BMI, so try to get some sunlight throughout the day, Blake recommended.
6. You forget to pack your lunch.
If you don’t pack your lunch, you’re more likely to rely on fast food, Blake explained. Commit to packing a lunch one to two days per week. If you do eat out, “look for any way you can add vegetables,” Blake said, whether that’s a salad or lean protein and veggies. Or, opt for a soup and salad, Planells suggested.
7. Your coworkers’ bad habits rub off on you.
Sometimes, you may be tempted to go out more with your coworkers, or else partake in some of the decadent treats or snacks they bring, Planells said. Even if you can’t abstain from the treats, Planells said, try just taking a small portion — a half or a quarter of a donut, for instance.