So, I recently transitioned from full time student to full time employee and I think it’s fair to say that I’m officially ‘adulting!’ I had a game plan before entering the working world. I was going to stick to my routine of working out four days a week, I was going to meal prep my breakfasts, lunches and snacks and I would resist any workplace temptation. Well, let’s just say that this plan went out the window completely once I started. I struggled to fit even one session of exercise into a week, I didn’t make time to meal prep, I was constantly giving in to high fat snacks from colleagues and overall my energy levels were low and my level of fitness, depreciated. I was starting to gain weight.
“Not me”, I thought. “I’m a fitness blogger. I should be able to avoid this”. Well, the reality is that I’m human just like anyone and when we go through transitions and changes in life, we tend to let our goals slip. The unfortunate truth is that when you spend most of your day sitting behind your desk, no matter how many times you work out during the week, you are classified as inactive and at most, moderately active. This is why it is important to not only fit in a few exercise sessions during the week but also to develop new habits that will contribute towards a healthier you and to mitigate long-term health risks.
The tips I share below have helped me revert the weight gain I initially experienced when I started work and they have helped me to avoid further weight gain. I’m still not perfect and there are still times when I, for example, don’t go to the gym because I’ve had a busy and tiring week. The most important thing is that I’m learning to cope with this new phase in my life, I enjoy healthy living and I want to help you develop new habits as well! Without further ado, here are my tips:
1. Say ‘no’ to enabling colleagues
No matter where you work, your colleagues will try to tempt you into having ‘just a slice of cake’ or will try to make you ‘treat yourself to pizza’ simply ‘because it’s Friday’. It’s okay to treat yourself to an indulgent meal occasionally but certainly not everyday. Just say ‘no, thank you’. Your colleagues won’t be hurt if you reject their offers but the only person you will be hurting is yourself and your body in the long-term. Instead, enjoy the food and snacks you have prepped for work. You can find some healthy and tasty recipes here. Which leads on to my next point….
2. Pack your own lunches and snacks
Meal prepping is key to achieving your health and fitness goals. You can read my posts on the benefits of meal prepping and how to meal prep here but in relation to work, meal prepping saves time, money and allows you to resist going around the corner to the nearby restaurant in your lunch break and over-eating. Bringing your own pre-portioned snacks, such as popcorn, nuts or yogurt, can also ensure that you resist walking to the vending machine for a high-sugar or high-fat snack at 4pm.
3. Take walks during your lunch breaks
If you have a long lunch break, why not get out of the office for part of it. I, personally, like to spend 30 minutes working and the other 30 minutes walking. It is a great way to burn some calories and clear your head before diving deep into work again.
4. Schedule exercise during the week
If you don’t plan when you will exercise ahead of time, chances are that you will end up being either ‘too tired’ or ‘not bothered’. On a Sunday, have a look at your schedule for the week and slot in at least 3 one-hour sessions. This could either be a workout class at your gym or an early morning jog.
5. Pre-prepare your breakfast
Prepping your breakfast ensures that you get the energy boost you need in the morning without slaving away in the kitchen before work. Whatever you have should be rich in fibre with a portion or two of fruit for that slow release energy. Some of my favourite pre-prepared breakfast options are my Strawberry and Banana Overnight Oats and my BBBB Granola.
6. Move whenever you can
If you find that you’ve been sitting for two hours straight, get up and walk around your office for a couple of minutes. You can also do some stretches at your desk.
7. Drink plenty of water
During the day, it is important to keep your water intake up so that you avoid dehydration. Drinking water also enables you to feel refreshed when you start to feel sleepy at work. I try to drink 1.5 litres of water during working hours.
8. Limit caffeine intake
Caffeine may be a good pick-me-up but be careful of the coffee you choose to drink. Low-fat and low-sugar options include espressos, Americanos, green teas and coffees with skimmed or non-dairy milks. Full-fat lattes and cappuccinos are filled with sugar and are high in fat. You should also note sugar intake when having tea.
These are some of the tips that I’ve adopted into my working routine in order to ensure that overall, I am contributing towards good health. Just remember to enjoy the journey! You are not adopting these changes to punish yourself but rather to treat you body and mind! In the end, these tips should help contribute towards living your best life!
I hope you found this post useful and if you have any more suggestions, please leave them in the comments section below.
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