The minute you leave the house, you face mantraps out to lock you into bad fitness and diet choices. Here’s how to face up to them in the workplace – and if you get the boot!
YOU WORK HARD
If you’re prone to pudginess, remind yourself: you’re not getting paid by the kilo
Job-Related Problem: You Put in Too Many Hours
People who work over 40 hours a week are about eight per cent more likely to be obese, reveals research by the Centres for Disease Control. Meanwhile, if you travel extensively for business (more than 20 nights a month away), your odds of being obese are 92 per cent higher than if you hit the road 1-6 times a month.
Pretend you’re paying, even if you have a corporate credit card.
In fact, especially if you have a corporate credit card. “People give themselves permission to be bad – an extra drink, a big steak dinner – because it’s with a client,” says Dr Andrew Rundle, an obesity researcher at Columbia University. If you know you’ll be feasting on the company tonight, have salad or tuna for lunch.
Stand up at your desk or during tele-conferences, schedule walking meetings and find time to exercise during your workday. Stuck in a hotel room? Do a no-equipment workout: try this Body-Weight Burnout routine.
Working extreme overtime can make you so hangry that you’re tempted to eat when you’re not hungry. Meditation can help. In a Journal of Consumer Research study, people who practised mindfulness tended to have less weight fluctuation. Check out Patricia Bloom’s Mindfulness Practice album on iTunes.
Jobless-Related Problem: You Got Fired
Maybe you spent too many hours in your cubicle listening to Mindfulness Practice, cogitating on the unfairness of life, until somebody from HR rudely disturbed you. You have lost income – and as a result could start to gain weight, potentially at the rate of 2.5 kilograms a year.
Sleep well and consistently.
The stress of a sudden job loss can lead to sleepless nights and insomnia, say researchers at Pennsylvania State University. So promote better sleep through exercise. In a study published in the journal Sleep Medicine, sedentary people who committed to a six-month exercise program fell asleep more quickly at night, felt more rested in the morning and had better-quality sleep than they did before the program. Their anxiety and depression levels fell too.
Form healthy habits.
Keep water handy while you polish your resumé. People in a University of Illinois study who drank more water than other beverages consumed fewer total kilojoules. Raise your heart rate and burn energy with two minutes of squats every 30 minutes.
Make your lunch.
Prepare a healthy lunch at night, just like you did when you had a job, says dietitian Susan McQuillan. Be sure to include protein-rich snacks such as nuts, hard-boiled eggs and jerky. Keep junk food out of the house.
Related: Zap Fat – In 6 Easy Steps