Corporate Belly: How To Avoid Weight Gain, Or Lose Excess Weight, If You Have A Corporate Job
In a 2018 survey conducted with over a thousand working Americans, out of the 57% who believe they were overweight, 45% believe they gained the weight at their current job. Reasons for this weight gain include sitting at a desk for most part of the day, too tired to exercise, stress eating, lack of time to exercise, eating out regularly, workplace celebrations, skipping meals, so on and so forth. We can vouch for the fact that this pattern is applicable to most corporate setups worldwide. Anecdotal information will validate this.
Many people join well-paying, and promising corporate jobs with the hopes of expanding their horizons, not realising that expanding waistlines are often a byproduct, if no preventive measures are taken. The health issues that are prevalent in corporates are many, and they are often intertwined - one feeding into the other. Long working hours not only leave one scrambling for time to exercise, but also inadequately rested, and unreasonably stressed. The latter two - inadequate sleep and high stress levels have been proven to contribute to weight gain. The “corporate belly,” as we like to call it, is a common byproduct of the corporate life. But, it can be avoided by making simple tweaks in our habits. The same principals can also be applied if you’ve already acquired the corporate belly, and are thinking of ways to shed it.
Skip the elevator
At my last job, where I worked on the top floor, I would often have to wait for up to 10 to 15 minutes for the elevator ride to finish, with all the waiting, the stops on almost every floor, and such. For the sake of convenience, let’s go with the more optimistic side, and say 10 minutes per elevator ride. Counting lunch break, I would get into the elevator four times a day - that’s 40 minutes on a GOOD day, spent literally, standing and waiting. If I had skipped the elevator, I’d have saved at least half that time, because I could climb up seven floors in five minutes. That’s not only time saved, but also time spent waiting, REPLACED with time spent doing a leg and cardio workout.
Pack a healthy lunch
One of the most common reasons of weight gain at work is ordering in lunch, or eating greasy food from the office caterer. The singular act of eating healthy, nutritious, wholesome home-cooked meal, with less oil, will make a huge difference! Important to note here is that the home-cooked food should also be low on bad oil, bad carbs, and bad fats. So, it’s not simply about packing your lunch, but also about packing a light, but nutritious and filling lunch. Now that we’re on the topic, also pack some healthy snacks for those mid-meal munchies.
Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating is the practice of eating with awareness. Your body is skilled at giving you signals when it’s full, or when some dish is not sitting well with you. But, when we are distracted while eating, we tend to ignore these signs, and either eat more, or eat something we regret later. This is why people tend to eat more than usual when they are in the company of someone they like, or feel the need to please. But even as you eat with a colleague or a boss, you can bring awareness to your body, and learn to stop when it tells you to stop.
Cut the commute stress
Ideally, you should cut the commute and live as close as possible to your workplace. This would earn you time, which you can then use to get a workout in. Now, of course, we know that this is not an option for many, or rather, most of us. So, we need to device ways of cutting the commute stress. As we already know, stress is the root cause of most health problems, which is why it is crucial to tackle it in as many ways and situations as you can. Long commutes can be extremely stressful, both on the body and the mind. One of the ways you can cut this stress is by carpooling with someone who brings in positive energy. For other ways, watch tips video on our IGTV:
Start a workout routine, but GO SLOW
Unfortunately, there’s no alternative to exercise. It has too many proven benefits, known to most of us, and impossible for us to list down here. But, let’s put it this way: Your body is a machine. All machines need maintenance. Your car needs servicing, your phone needs software update, your AC needs cleaning and gas. And your body needs exercise. That’s how you keep those joints lubricated, your muscles supple and strong, and your organs in good shape. Often, people make the mistake of starting a workout routine with a bang - you’ll go to the gym, and pay a membership fee for an entire year, but make it there twice, maybe. Or, you’ll go so heavy on day one that you’ll be too sore to move the next day, and subsequently you’ll get demotivated. That’s not a great way for most of us. Go slow. Experiment. Be playful. Try different workouts before you commit to one. One small step every day.
Get adequate rest
Inadequate rest is an underrated cause of weight gain. Make sure you get enough snooze time on a regular basis. High stress can often make this difficult to achieve, so your strategies to get enough sleep should also be stress-reducing. Exercise helps a great deal here. So does food that makes you feel full and nurtured, but not bloated, gassy and heavy. Meditation helps. Spending time with loved ones helps. Cuddling with your partner helps. Sex helps. Do what you got to do!
Image Source: Mayo Clinic, Pexels, Unsplash