For many of us the office body is, unfortunately, quite real…
In college and high school, though we may not have realized it, we had so much free time! Even with classes, clubs, internships, etc. it seems as though it was always possible to find the time to be active, even if it was just the constant trekking across campus. Once graduation and “real life” hits, the reality is that you are likely sitting at a desk for most of the day which makes it really difficult to stay active.
Most days, the last thing you want to do when you get out of work is drag yourself to the gym. And if you’re anything like me, snacking throughout the workday is what keeps you going. In college you’re often rushing through the day and you may even breeze past breakfast or lunch without a second thought (or sleep through it!) but in office life, snacks are key. The combined lack of time for working out, munching on convenient snacks, and overall slower metabolism with age (the worst one of all...) are all major ingredients in the recipe for developing what I like to call, “office body.”
Even if you’re not exactly sure what “office body” is, I’m sure you’re likely familiar with it. Life just has a way of finding places to put excess body fat on you as you get older and sitting down at a desk all day really speeds up that process… especially when all the snacks in the breakroom end in some kind of “itos.”
So, if you’re someone who feels like you want to fight off office body- or more importantly feel better and be more active- then you’re in the right place! I’ve compiled a few ways to help combat the pesky “office body” by sneaking in ways to be active and swap out unhealthy habits.
Use your lunch break to get in some exercise
Use the time you would typically use to play on your phone while munching on a sandwich to get out and get some fresh air. Don’t skip lunch all together, definitely not suggesting that! But, if you find that you typically have some extra time on your hands during lunch, try getting outside and stretching your legs. It could be a walk around the block or even just a few laps around the office, whatever makes most sense for you!
Meal Prep, Meal Prep, Meal Prep!
Unfortunately, takeout and delivery options are typically not as healthy as brown-bagging your lunch. Often times, even a salad or wrap can pack away hundreds of hidden calories in ingredients that sound benign. Instead, try meal-prepping at the beginning of the week and making lunches that are fresh and exciting for you. The worst part of bringing your own lunch is getting to lunchtime and realizing just how boring a turkey sandwich and a bag of chips are. FoodNetwork, Tasty, and HealthyIsh are all awesome places to find yummy and easy recipes that are good for you! I could spend all day watching Tasty videos!
Increase Water Intake
A lot of the time we’re just thirsty and don’t realize it! If you find yourself constantly snacking and unsatisfied, try increasing the amount of water you drink! A lot of us are walking around pretty dehydrated and don’t even realize it, especially if you’re a big coffee drinker like me…
Get a reusable water bottle, the bigger the better and try to keep track of your water intake throughout the day! Set goals like 750 ml every two hours and increase as needed.
Don’t multitask while eating, enjoy your meal!
Distracted eating can really mess with your satiation. In today’s world we’re constantly scrolling, snapping, texting, or swiping, especially while we’re eating. You may feel like the two go hand in hand, but in reality, distracted eating can be a major component for feeling hungry after meals. Taking the time to sit and truly enjoy your meal not only mitigates this feeling of still being hungry, but it also gives you an opportunity to relax and decompress.
Use every opportunity to walk around / get up and be active
Rather than emailing a question to Barbara in accounting, take the walk over to her desk to ask. We’ve become so accustomed to staying planted at our desk that we can forget we’re in a social environment! So get up, take a lap around the office! Getting your circulation going helps a ton even if it’s just in small, but fairly frequent bursts.
At the end of the day, don’t stress out about trying to integrate all of these tips into your day. Fixating on your body image and health can often do more harm than good, even if it’s coming from a place of good intentions. If you want to feel better about your overall health and wellness, just try to add in some of these tips where it feels natural. At the end of the day, it’s about feeling good about yourself, for yourself!