Losing weight can seem like an uphill battle in contemporary times, thanks to our lifestyles and choices.
This is especially the case for working professionals who are part of busy corporate lives that do not allow them the time and opportunity to manage their weight and overall health.
On the contrary, employees and working professionals end up gaining a lot of weight due to a myriad of reasons like –
- Workplace stress
- Unhealthy diets and eating habits
- Prolonged sitting at their work desks
- A sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity
- Lack of motivation and time to work out
Unchecked weight gain and obesity can result in several complications for employees’ health like heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and many mental health problems as well.
However, we cannot deny that losing weight at work can be challenging.
But the good news is that it’s not an impossible feat by any means.
Working professionals can reduce the negative impacts of weight gain with these activities that aid in weight loss.
Let us check them out!
Create a Step Challenge
Walking is a great way to improve blood circulation levels and burn some extra calories. For this activity, talk to your co-workers and decide on a mileage-based target for a step challenge that suits most of you.
For instance, your co-workers and you can set a distance, say 30 miles, that you want to walk within five days. Setting a target will motivate you to get up and get working (or, in this case, ‘walking’).
Moreover, having your peers participate with you will allow for a competitive stride while acting as a support system. Pro tip: Keep a reward for the winner(s) for that extra nudge.
Introduce and Practice Mindful Eating
Busy work lives can mess with our bodily intakes. Sometimes, it’s hours without having eaten anything at all, and on other occasions, we are bingeing on junk. However, it is time we move past those numerous strict and restrictive diets we find on different corners of the web.
Mindful eatingis the key to maintaining a healthy diet without making your body crave a particular food category.
Mindful eating refers to the practice of paying attention to our experiences with food. It involves being purposeful with our food, being aware of what we consume and why, and enjoying the experience without judgment or distractions.
Avoid being distracted with work emails or presentations during lunch at work. Take some time off to enjoy your food. Limit the mindless visits to the office cafeteria. Instead, you can carry some healthy snacks to the work place with you.
Maintain a Workout Routine
Don’t want to walk 30 to 40 miles a week but still want to lose weight? Try maintaining a workplace workout routine.
Keep a list of exercises that you want to try at the workplace. Choose simple, easy-to-do yet effective office exercises that help to keep your body active and moving. You can do these exercises during your work-breaks and prevent the ill-effects of prolonged sitting.
Take the Stairs
We all know we must and should do this, yet, we press that elevator button every single time. Challenge yourself to take the stairs for at least a week and follow-through. At the end of the week, you will notice a change in your stamina and energy throughout your workday.
You are going to be sitting at your work desk for hours anyway. It’s a good idea to counter the ill-effects of prolonged sitting by taking the stairs. Plus, you get to burn some calories as well!
You have probably heard this a hundred times but let us put it out there one more time: Hydration is Key!
Drinking water has a ton of benefits. One of those many benefits is that it aids in weight loss. Drinking water helps in the metabolism process. It keeps you full and drastically reduces your food cravings during work. Moreover, drinking water can reduce water retention and get rid of all the water weight.
Keep a water bottle with you at all times, and remind yourself to have a few sips every half an hour or so. You can also download one of those applications that keep reminding you to drink water at regular intervals.
Cycle to Work
Countries like the UK and the Netherlands have a Cycle to Work Scheme in place, which encourages employees to cycle to and from their respective workplaces. In addition to being an environment-friendly scheme, it helps employees maintain a fit lifestyle and manage their weight.
It is important to note that cycling has several health benefits. It improves cardiovascular health, helps in stress management, reduces body fat levels, and so on.
Participate in Office Weight Loss and Fitness Challenges
Workplace fitness challengescan be a fun, motivating, and effective way to lose weight for working professionals. Companies worldwide either subscribe to a workplace wellness programthat creates these fitness challenges or design their own. Some of the prevalent fitness challenges in the workplace include corporate walkathons, healthy-eating challenges, obstacle courses, etc.
Office weight loss challenges consisting of fun activities will also help employees remain motivated and engaged at work.
A Little Sensitivity Goes A Long Way
All the activities mentioned above can have positive impacts on employee health and weight management.
However, it is crucial to be mindful, kind, educated, and sensitive while planning or participating in these activities. If the management is not sensitive and careful enough, such activities can demotivate employees and harm the organization’s overall employee experience.
Ensure that the workplace enables a culture of inclusivity and body positivity instead of unhealthy competition and negativity.
The goal is not to punish or torture our bodies into losing weight. The goal is to achieve a more balanced and healthier lifestyle by taking mindful steps in that direction.
Priyakshi Sharma is a content marketer at Vantage Circle, an employee engagement platform, and Vantage Fit, an all-in-one corporate health and wellness solution. In her free time, she is found writing about cinema, life, and everything in between.