Eliminate these from your day and we guarantee a change! By Kshmaya Daniel
It’s estimated a whopping 50 per cent of the Indian workforce faces health problems like heart diseases, diabetes, and depression due to their desk-bound sedentary lifestyle. But the biggest problem that affects the majority of officegoers? Weight gain or obesity. The endless hours behind a chair, free office snacks and weekly birthday celebrations come together to create a problematic situation. It doesn’t help that the long work hours cut into any free time you could use for exercise. So how do you get out of this rut? The first step is to avoid these five habits that are contributing to your weight gain.
1. You skip breakfast because you’re late or want to get in early
While reaching work early and diving into work may sound impressive, it definitely will not impress your body. Your last meal was over 10 hours ago, your body is empty, and it will enter a fasting state, leading you to feel hungry, and you’ll experience a ‘mid-morning crash’. This could mean one of two things; either you’ll immediately want to find some snacks (probably high-calorie) or you’ll overeat at lunch. Either way, when you finally put some food in your body, due to the fasting state, your body will store this food as fat, like an emergency store, because it doesn’t know when the next meal will be and this results in weight gain. Our advice? Wake up a couple of minutes early and make sure you get a good breakfast, full of healthy carbs, proteins and fats or pack something to eat en route.
2. You don’t pack healthy snacks from home
Most Indian officegoers carry a homemade meal for lunchtime. However, most do not pack homemade teatime or afternoon snacks. You may think that you’re doing yourself a favour and cutting out extra calories, but when you start getting hungry at midday, those crispy office samosas and cheese grilled sandwiches start looking real good, and you give yourself the leeway to indulge. Admit it, this happens one too many times. So start thinking ahead and carry a snack from home so that you can avoid the fattening office snacks. Or even better, stock your desk with these healthy snacks.
3. You eat lunch at your desk while working
As insignificant as this may sound, eating lunch at your desk while you’re working is a grave weight-loss mistake. If you eat your lunch while concentrating on what’s on your computer screen, you won’t end up paying much attention to how much you’re eating. You also tend to be more tense and worried, rather than relaxed. Plus your eyes need a break from that screen! So make it a point to take a lunch break, eat with your colleagues/peers/team members and step away from your desk.
4. You sit in your chair for too long
On an average day you spend more than 10 hours sitting stiffly in a chair, and the resultant health complications are quite concerning. We’re talking muscle problems, joint problems, obesity, depression and chronic diseases. So we suggesting taking out 10 minutes in your day to do some simple stretches that target the neck, shoulders, back, wrists, and thighs. (Check out this simple stretching routine.) Also, stand up and walk around at every possible opportunity. Take your calls while walking around, hold walking meetings, get up and take a lunch break, a water break, walk over to your colleague’s desk instead of sending them a text/email; there are a host of opportunities out there.
5. You don’t regularly de-stress
Unfortunately, stress is a part and parcel of our modern work lives. And to live a healthy, balanced life we need to regularly find an outlet for it. If we don’t, there’s a possibility we’ll be heavier on the weighing scale the next time around. When we experience stress, our body triggers the release of the hormone cortisol; this causes our blood sugar levels to spike and then fall quickly. This whole process leaves the body with intense cravings for sugar and high-carb foods; what is popularly known as a ‘stress binge’. As you probably already know, stress binges can cause huge amounts of weight gain. Next time, instead of binging, take a quick breather or a de-stressor; get your mind off work for a few minutes and do a few deep-breathing exercises. If you are still hungry, grab some fruit.
Photograph: Yanalya – Freepik.com