Have you ever looked back at a picture of your 20-year-old self and thought, "How did I get here?" While it's natural to put on a few pounds as we age, many of us are carrying around more weight than we want to be. And while there's a multitude of reasons for this, there's one major culprit to blame: work.
Your job takes up precious hours in the day that could otherwise be spent exercising or preparing healthy, wholesome meals. Your job makes you stressed, ruins your sleep patterns, and keeps your butt glued to a chair all day. Your job keeps you in the car commuting or on a plane for business travel. The result? The pounds creep on. But have no fear! We're giving you all the tips you need for your specific kind of job to help you climb that corporate ladder while still shedding those pounds. Here's how to make your work lifestyle, well, "work" for you.
The 9-5 job is the most common one out there. Each week, many of us commute a total of several hours just to sit at a desk all day. Naturally, this kind of sedentary lifestyle isn't going to give you that supermodel body you've always dreamed of. Here's what to do if you're stuck at a desk all day.
Take The Stairs
You've probably heard this one time and time again but taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a simple switch for some big rewards. According to a study at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences center, a 150-pound person could lose about six pounds per year just by climbing up two flights of stairs every day! Work on the 10th floor? Think about the pound-dropping payoff this discovery could have for you! If you work on a lower floor, make excuses to head upstairs. This one small change is a major "step" towards your dream body.
American offices are in total transition mode. Many companies are converting their cubicle set-up to more open, collaborative spaces. And many are booting the desk and rolly chair for desk space that is more beneficial for your body. Sitting in a chair all day is linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. While a few companies have gone so far as to put treadmill desks (!) in their offices, others have started offering standing desks. Companies like Facebook and Google have completely revamped their offices with standing desks, but you don't need your company to step in for you. You can purchase your own standing desk to take a "stand" against weight gain; this version from Varidesk is the exact model editors at Eat This, Not That! use.
Avoid the Order-In Crowd
Ugh, you're working late again and your stomach is starting to growl. Your coworker whips out his phone and orders Chinese food to refuel. He offers to place an order for you, but you know you'll feel tired and sluggish. Sound familiar? Every office has an order-in crowd, and as much as you want to be a part of it, resisting will be much better for your body. And it's easier than you think! Simply coming to work prepared with delicious, healthy snacks or mastering the art of healthy cafeteria eating will help you stay full and energized without gaining weight.
Drink on the Job
America is the land of fattening drinks. If your go-to drink is a sugary Starbucks latte or a diet soda, listen up! According to a recent study by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, switching to water can majorly speed up your metabolism! Even when you're sitting, you can keep your metabolism revved with water for all-day calorie burn. Plus, hunger pangs are often not your body crying out for food; it wants water! By sipping on H20 all day, you can feel fuller, for longer. The result? You can spend less time eating and more time impressing your boss. Check out our 50 Best Detox Waters for Fat Burning and Weight Loss to get started on your new H20 kick.
If your workout routine consists of an hour on the treadmill or an hour on an elliptical, it's time for a wake-up call. Studies have proven that muscle tissue, even at rest, burns way more calories than fat tissue. That means that getting toned can help you burn fat even when you're sitting (or standing!) at your desk all day. If you're a stranger to the free-weight section of the gym here are some exercises to help get you started.
The Road Warrior
Many jobs these days demand a lot of travel. This constant on-the-go way of living inevitably takes a toll on your body and mind. But there are ways to fight back! If you're "The Road Warrior," find out how to make your work lifestyle work for you!
Ditch The All Or Nothing Mentality
When you're traveling, it's easy to say, "Oh, there's no gym in my hotel. I guess I'm not working out this week!" or "My healthy options are limited in this country, let's go crazy!" Eliminating this kind of black and white thinking is essential for on-the-go weight loss. Finding a middle ground where you sneak in some workouts and eat healthy when you have access to nutritious food will help keep you trim while you travel.
Take Advantage Of Travel Mishaps
If you travel a lot, you're bound to run into some bad luck. But don't let your travel mishaps get you down! Long layover? Head out into the city and see the sights! You'll burn way more calories simply walking around than you will sitting in the airport. Flight delay? Grab a meal low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fiber to keep your body in fat burning mode. Be sure to resist these 11 airport foods to avoid at all costs. Canceled flight? Check into a hotel that you know has a gym facility. No leg room at your seat? Get up every so often to burn some calories and relieve some stress. Even stretching counts!
If you're always on the go, chances are your gym time is limited. That means that on the rare occasion you find yourself at the gym, you want to get the most out of your time. The days of monotonous cardio are out. Fitness experts across the country are preaching the benefits of high-intensity interval training aka HIIT. With HIIT, you perform short bursts of an exercise at full throttle, then rest, then repeat! This kind of workout boosts your body's oxygen consumption post workout which means your body continues to burn calories even while you're sitting on an airplane!
Skip the Booze
We know travel is stressful and that it can be difficult to relax on the plane. And we know that this makes it oh-so-tempting to order a glass of wine or a nip of liquor when the refreshment cart comes around. But there's a reason that limiting alcohol consumption is on our list of 44 Ways to Lose 4 Inches of Body Fat!
Your body cannot store alcohol calories for future energy the way it can with food, so metabolizing that alcohol becomes top priority the second it enters your system. Consequently, your body essentially hits pause on metabolizing the food in your belly and instead stores it as fat to deal with at a future date. So, when the stewardess comes around, resist the urge to order an alcoholic drink and ask for tea instead. This will give you that warm, comforting feeling without the extra calories.
Master Your Sleep
Not getting enough shut-eye is on our list of 40 Bad Habits that Give You Belly Fat. When we sleep, our body releases essential fat-burning hormones that keep our appetites in check and our metabolism roaring. Sleeping on an airplane can be challenging, but being prepared can make a major difference! On your next business trip, bring along a neck pillow and earplugs to get all the slimming snooze you need.
The intern lifestyle consists of a lot of work, plenty of socializing, and very little money. Don't worry, we have all the tips you need to stay slim without forfeiting fun or spending too much cash. If you're "The Intern," find out how to make your work lifestyle work for you!
Create a Sweat Squad
Let's face it: you're broke! Interns, traditionally, don't make a ton of money or don't make any money at all. That means you're balling on a budget. Most gym memberships are pretty pricey and even exercise classes can put a dent in your bank account. Don't let this discourage you! Instead, grab some pals and start an exercise group. Go for runs, play fun recreational sports, or do some ab workouts. There are tons of resources online that can help you get fit without the gym. Plus, working out with a crew is a fun way to stay motivated and on track! To get started, check out our No Equipment Workout.
Get More Sleep
The intern lifestyle is exhausting. You wake up early, work hard all day, then stay out late because, well, you're young! As we know, a lack of sleep prevents your body from releasing those fat-burning hormones that are crucial for weight loss. But did you know that it also increases stress and that stress makes you gain weight? A recent study at the University of Rochester found that those with higher stress levels at work were less likely to exercise and more likely to come home and watch TV. Hey, we love to Netflix and chill every so often but doing it every day after work instead of working out is a surefire way to stall your weight loss. So, clear your schedule a few nights a week to make sure you're getting the shut-eye you need to stay stress-free and fit!
Eating out every single day is not only expensive but also a surefire way to consume unwanted calories. Restaurant food is often drowned in unhealthy oils and loaded with salt. Buying nutritious groceries and making your own meals will put the weight loss power back in your hands, all the while saving you tons of money! Before you hit the aisles, check out our 50 Best Supermarket Tips to get the most nutritional bang for your buck! Oh, and if you're a novice in the kitchen, here are some healthy recipes to get you started.
Master Happy Hour
It's no secret that 20 somethings drink a lot. Hey—you're only young once, right? Right! We'll never hold you back from living life to the fullest, but there are some smart swaps you can make when you're out with your friends. Take a look at our healthy alcohol tips so you can still be the life of the party without packing on the party pounds.
Have Fun Not Food
These days it seems like everything revolves around food. When you want to meet up with your friends, it doesn't take long for someone to suggest getting together for a meal or hanging out at the nearest froyo shop. Over time, these social calories add up and make an appearance on your waistline. Instead of making your friend time food time, suggest going to the park, going to an art gallery, or even running a fun 5k!
No doubt about it, being a mom is a full-time job. This means "me time" is very rare. Healthy eating and exercise often get sidelined for your kids' needs. Hey, this means you're a great mom! But it also means that you're probably carrying more weight than you want to be. If you're "The Supermom" find out how to make your work lifestyle work for you!
Eat Off The Kids Menu
Being a mom is super tiring and crazy time-consuming. Sometimes you just need an easy, quick way to feed the family, and often that means heading to the drive-thru. Time for some damage control! To stay on track with your weight loss efforts, order off the kid's menu. Kid's portions are waaay smaller than regular portions and dialing down portion sizes is on our list of 50 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds—Fast. So, go ahead— channel your inner kid and order that happy meal!
Become A Morning Person
The morning is the perfect time to fit in that oh-so-rare "me time" and waking up early is on our list of 31 Skinny Secrets from the World's Sexiest Women. Don't worry about hitting the gym or taking a tiring, expensive spin class. Research has proven that all you need is a morning walk to kick your fat loss into high gear! The morning light is suspected to prevent weight gain, boost your metabolism and undercut your fat genes no matter what your caloric intake is that day. So set that alarm and soak in those a.m. rays!
Cook On the Weekends
With no school and no extracurriculars, your kids' schedules are usually way less hectic on the weekends. That means the weekends are your time to sit back, relax, and enjoy your family— and your kitchen! Use this extra time and stress-free mindset to prepare some healthy staples for the week ahead. When you're busy and starving during the week, you can reach for a nutritious pre-made snack or heat up a healthy prepared meal instead of grabbing those convenient potato chips or that quick-heat freezer food that will cause you to pack on the pounds.
Turn Your Chores Into A Workout
This past year, ABC network released the first season of its new diet show, My Diet is Better than Yours, in which diet experts compete to help their contestants lose the most weight. One of those experts was Carolyn Barnes who created the "Clean Momma Plan." The trademark aspect of her plan is maximizing your time as a mother to reap the most weight loss benefits. She suggests "taskercising" aka fitting squats in between each dish you wash or doing tricep dips on the family room table while cleaning up after the kids. By taskercising, you'll not only be a Supermom but with your toned muscles, you'll look like one too! For more weight loss tips from My Diet is Better Than Yours, check out our list of 36 Weight Loss Tips from the show!
Rally The Troops
One of the best parts about having kids is that they're full of energy and crazy curious about everything! Take some inspiration from your kids' vigor for life and get out there. Better yet, take them with you! Go for a hike, take the dogs for a walk, go swimming at the beach. Anything that gets you out of the house, counts! And it will send you well on your way to eliminating those love handles.
The Start-Up Workaholic
We all have that friend who gets totally consumed by the project they're working on. They lose track of time, forget to eat, and never get up from their desk because they're so engrossed in their work. Oh wait, is that you? We applaud your passion! However, it's probably not doing great things for your waistline. If you have this type of job, read on to find out how to make your work lifestyle work for you!
Make Breakfast A Priority
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." You've probably heard this one a million times, but don't roll your eyes just yet. A recent study out of Yale and the University of Connecticut found that those that skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight than those that have two breakfasts! This is because breakfast keeps your blood sugar levels steady all day, while non-breakfast eaters experience more blood sugar spikes throughout the day. Increased blood sugar puts you at more risk for diabetes and weight gain! So, if you tend to forget to eat, make it a priority to remember just this one meal. You can do it! Trust us, it will have massive changes for you weight and health. For healthy breakfast ideas, check out our 15 Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Before you head to work and sit down to a project, set a few alarms throughout the day with reminders like "get up and stretch" or "lunchtime" or "get some fresh air." These small breaks will help to keep your metabolism going and your mind stress-free!
Bonus: Maybe even set a few snack alarms to try one of these 50 Snacks With 50 Calories or Less!
We know, we know. You don't have time for lunch! But if you pack one, you don't have to run out or run downstairs to the office cafeteria! Instead, you can just reach in your bag for your lunchbox. Plus, science has proven that skipping meals leads to increased weight gain so use the time at home that you're not zoned in to pack a convenient lunch. To pack your brown bag full of nutritious foods that will keep you focused, energized, and lean take a look at the 11 things diet experts eat for lunch.
Did you know that simply by slowing down while eating, paying attention to texture, focusing on taste, and concentrating on smell can help you eat less and weigh less? The practice is known as mindful eating and it's been proven to lower caloric consumption, stress levels, and, ultimately, BMI. We urge you to take a few minutes from your work day to sit at a table, focus on what you're eating, and have some time to yourself. This will make you become more aware of the things you are putting in your body, ultimately making you slimmer and healthier!
If you have that crazy good concentration, then use it to your advantage. Yoga takes a ton of focus so this is the perfect exercise for you! What's more? Yoga has a lot of hidden benefits that you probably don't know about! Work it into your exercise schedule to get the most out of your workouts.
The Night Shifter
Being nocturnal isn't just for animals. From doctors to security guards, many people work through the night and sleep during the day! Our bodies were designed to be active during the day and rest during the night, so many night workers find that their bodies revolt! Often, this is in the form of weight gain. We're helping you fight back! If you're "The Night Shifter" find out how to make your work lifestyle work for you!
Like most people with a full-time job, you start your day (er, night) with some caffeine. What if we told you that simply by swapping out your coffee you could burn fat, reduce your risk of heart disease, and minimize the threat of diabetes? It's true! Simply by switching to green tea, you can get all these benefits and more. The powerful antioxidants in green tea known as catechins literally melt the fat stored in your body and send you on your way to your goal weight.
Put Sunglasses on When You Leave Work
This one seems silly, but sleep is your biggest enemy when you're a night shift worker. If you can master daytime sleep, you'll be energized for your shift and thinner in the long run. Sunlight messes with our body's melatonin levels (the hormone that tells us that it's time to sleep). By keeping your eyes shaded, your melanin levels will remain high and your body will be ready to catch some Zs.
Lower Temp In Your Room
As a night shift worker, you're forced to make some decisions about how you want to spend your day. One of the biggest decisions is getting more sleep or getting more exercise to burn calories. What if we told you that you could do both? A recent study in the Journal of Diabetes found that those who kept their rooms colder while they slept, burned way more fat than those that slept in ambient temperature or warm temperature. So don't feel guilty about hitting the hay! Just turn down your thermostat and you'll turn up your calorie burn.
Get Creative With Your Workouts
Maybe you run to work when you otherwise would have driven. Maybe you pack some dumbbells in your work bag to lift at your desk. Perhaps you sneak in some hallway lunges when things get slow around 3 a.m. Whatever you do, find ways to incorporate some fat burning exercises into your nightly work routine. Oh, and eat these 4 foods to get the most out of your unconventional workout.
Get Your Vitamin-D
Unfortunately, you can't get your vitamin D from the moon and since you're most likely catching up on sleep during the day, you're not getting it from the sun. Vitamin D helps keep your muscles in tact and the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn throughout the day! Consider taking a supplement or get your Vitamin D from food sources like salmon, tuna or eggs.
Ok, you've left the regimented corporate world for the freedom of freelance. Maybe you want more time to do the things you love or maybe the idea of the 9-5 schedule day after day is a little daunting to you. Whatever the case, we have some bad news. This not-so-mainstream approach to work has some not-so-promising implications for your waistline. Stay on top of your health with these five tips! If you're "The Freelancer" find out how to make your work lifestyle work for you!
Don't Hit Snooze
You have nowhere to be! No commute traffic to avoid! No time card to punch! Why not hit the snooze? How about this fact from the Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and authors of The Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure: "[Pressing the snooze button can] negatively affect your hormones—including growth factor and cortisol—which unfavorably influences belly fat.Don't set your alarm intending to hit snooze time after time. Set your alarm for a little bit later and get up as soon as your alarm goes off. This may be a little bit difficult at first, but you'll appreciate a little extra sleep, as will your waistline." So get up, grab some metabolism boosting tea, and start your day!
Workout First, Then Work
You're completely in charge of your day—so structure it right! Working out first thing in the morning gets your metabolism rolling and eliminates the possibility of afternoon excuse-making. Later in the day, you may feel too fatigued from the work you did that day or your stomach may feel unsettled from a meal you ate. Working out in the morning eliminates these threatening factors! Check out these tips to make your morning workout crazy effective.
Become A Chef
Did you know that eating clean and eating tasty foods don't have to be two mutually exclusive concepts? As a freelancer, you have more time. This means you have the luxury of taking the time to buy nutritious, wholesome ingredients, to find creative, healthy recipes, and to cook for yourself. Use your extra time to your advantage and become a clean, lean personal chef!
Don't Work In Bed
I know, it's so tempting. Your bed is by far the most comfortable piece of furniture in your house. But top fitness experts have proven that simply by sitting up with good posture, you can dramatically increase your calorie burn and fat loss. So, while you work, head to a desk or kitchen counter. It's a tiny little change for a major pay off.
Turn Off Your Phone
These days, we're all addicted to our iPhones. But did you know that scrolling through Instagram before bed is a nighttime habit that's making you pack on extra pounds? The blue light from cell phones and other technology suppresses that essential sleep hormone, melatonin. And you know by now that sleep is crucial for weight loss. If you're a freelancer, chances are you spend a big bulk of your day on all sorts of technology from your phone to your laptop. So ditch the tech and save the evening hours for a book or your spouse!