Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How To Loose Weight At A Desk Job

I think one of the greatest challenges I have faced thus far on my fitness journey, was the transition to a desk job. I remember my first day here when the wonderful lady who trained me said, "You will gain at least 20lbs, everybody does!!"

I though, no way! Not me! I am very active and healthy. I know how to eat right and I exercise 4-5 times a week! I will be fine.

Well what actually happened fell somewhere in the middle.

I didn't gain 20lbs (Praise the Lord!), but sitting all day long really did take it's toll on my progress. But over the last year I have figured out what works for me and I am living proof that you can loose weight at a desk!

I understand that every working environment is very different. I know some people who swear by sitting on a stability ball at their desk all day. I'm sure that would be great, but they frown on that at my office. It's not really so much of a frown as it is an introduction between the ball and a pair of scissors. It doesn't end well.

I also can't do the recommended 10 minute walk every hour, or the 'desk workout.' 

But there is always something you can do! Here are some things I have done:

Bring your own food. 

In my office we have what I like to call, "The Sin Cabinet" Our office provides little sacks and things to all the employees at no cost! What are they trying to do to me!??

I realized after I took this picture that this side of the cabinet isn't too bad.... Wheat Thins and Nature Valley aren't the worst you can do. But the other side is full of snack cakes! And there is an entire cabinet for chips!!

By this point in my journey, I am a pro at avoiding these things in the store. I would never buy these kinds of foods to eat at home. But when I am at work, and hungry, and sleepy, and no one else is around, I cave. Every. Time.

So I prepare for it! Like today, I packed my lunch (of course) but I also brought a bag of grapes for morning break and a cheese stick for afternoon break.

Sooo green!!

My lunch today, taco salad!

Good thing too because today someone brought in these.....

Just trying to share the love I guess!

Even if your office/work doesn't have these temptations, packing a lunch will prevent you from eating out or from the vending machine. Or worse, GOING HUNGRY!!

Stand when you can.

I am almost literally chained to my desk. I am the receptionist so I always have to be here. I can't just take a walk around the building every hour, or sprint up the stairs once a day (no stairs anyway) or many of the other common suggestions for desk dwellers. I have to stay here.

But I don't have to sit here!

A large part of my job is stuffing, labeling and sorting mail outs. Why sit? Why not stand? Standing is just one small way to increase the amount of calories you burn throughout the day.

Volunteer for the odd jobs.

This is much easier at a smaller office. Larger offices generally have someone who is paid to do the little odds and ends. But if not, your boss may be looking for someone to water the plants, or dust the pictures, or put up the seasonal decor. Be that person! First of all it looks great to a boss when you ask them if there is anything you could help them with. Second, how many calories do you think you will burn hauling a water bucket all over the office to water the plants? If nothing else it gets you off your butt for 15 minutes or so!

Make things harder for yourself.

Sometimes I have only one job to do all day. And it will take me about 2 hours to complete. So, I try to make it harder to do. For instance, if I am sorting mail, I put the piles or bags farther apart than necessary. A few extra steps always helps! Or if my lunch doesn't need to be refrigerated, I will keep it in my car. I may not always have the gumption to do a parking lot lap on my lunch break, but if my food is out there, so am I!

No matter what your current situation may be, I believe that if being fit and healthy is important to you, you will find a way to make it happen. If it is not, you will be able to think of every excuse in the book. #noexcuses!!

What are little things you do throughout your day (at work or not) to help you get and stay fit?


  1. These are GREAT tips - especially the one about bringing your own food!

  2. Great tips! Would you be willing to share how you achieved your position? If you achieved a previous degree or certification? Thanks for your help!

    1. Sure! I am just a receptionist. I work for a small non-profit organization. I had volunteered for years at different events and knew almost everyone in the office very well. The position came open and they contacted me and here I am! I guess it really is about who you know!
      Thanks for stopping by! =)