Diet-Proof Your Cubicle: 12 Ways to Be Your Own Weight Loss Advocate at Work
Losing weight is difficult enough without the challenges of social pressure and workplace stress. Whether you’re inclined to reach for snacks out of stress, boredom, or hunger, ensuring your workspace supports your diet is a powerful way to cut down on opportunities to self-sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Here are twelve simple ways to make your workday work for, not against, your diet:
1. Clean Out & Tidy Up: If your workspace is anything like most people, you have a random collection of stuff in, on, and around your desk. Organize what you need, throw out what you don’t – including all the restaurant mints, old gum packs, and leftover Halloween candy.
2. Get a Giant Water Bottle: The bigger, the better! Drinking lots of water is not only good for weight loss, but it’s great for your health overall. A bigger bottle also means less trips to the water fountain or staff kitchen—so less opportunities to pick up a sweet, soda, or snack, and it means more trips to the restroom—which means you move more!
3. Stock Up on Healthy Snacks: We get it. Snack attacks are real! Prepare with diet-friendly snacks high in protein and low in carbs and sugar, and you minimize the chance you’ll find yourself so hungry that you succumb to the siren song of the vending machine, donuts, or cupcakes.
4. Post a Reminder of Your Goal: You don’t need a banner, but do keep a sticky note with your end goal visible. This little daily visual will keep you on-track and motivated.
5. Athletic Shoes: Keep a pair of athletic or tennis shoes under your desk, in your locker, or in your car. You’re more likely to take a walk on your lunch break if you have comfy shoes to wear.
6. Partner with a Co-Worker: Support and accountability are hugely effective when people are trying to lose weight. Find a coworker who is also committed to slimming down, or perhaps simply wants to move more during the day, and partner up. Lunch time with a supportive workmate will make it easier to make good choices. A buddy can also make break-time walks more fun.
7. Post Motivational Quotes: Keep a few sticky notes with motivational quotes posted around your workspace to fuel your commitment to losing weight. If you are able, you might even consider setting an inspiring quote as the background on your work computer.
8. Offer Healthy Alternatives: If your coworkers and office love a good cake or routinely bring donuts, cookies, or brownies for celebrations (or because it’s Tuesday), offer to bring alternatives like veggie trays or fresh fruit. Your gluten-free coworkers will be grateful too, but more importantly, you’ll give yourself the little extra support you need to pass over the sugary temptations.
9. Stand Up: Standing not only burns more calories than sitting, but standing up for a little while will also help your spine and posture, your digestion, and your mindset. If you have the option, consider asking for a standing or adjustable desk.
10. Walk and Talk: Need to hold an impromptu meeting? If you don’t need a table, computer, or technology, ask the person if they’d like to walk and talk with you. This can be as quick as a lap around the inside of the office or a trip to the kitchen and back, or a longer jaunt around the building.
11. Set Reminders on Your Phone: Use your smart phone to set a daily reminder of your goals, an hourly nudge to get up and move, or prompts to complete your food diary, go for a walk, or drink more water.
12. Keep “Emergency” Food on Hand: Even the best-laid plans go awry. Keep a small stock of meal replacement options on hand for the days you didn’t have time to grab lunch, or have no time after work to eat before your errands or family obligations.
Whether you work in an office or a store, from home, or anywhere else, planning ahead to minimize your temptations and maximize your opportunities to stay on-track is key. You don’t have to do all 12 of these tricks, but if try a few that address your biggest potential weak spots, you can not win.