Work Weight Gain: 3 Simple Ways to Avoid It

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The two “secrets” of losing weight are well documented and we all know them. It’s simple: to lose weight one needs to take in fewer calories and get exercise. The problem is at work, both of those not-so-secret weight loss solutions are really hard to implement. And, it’s hard to be a good team member when you are grouchy from being so hungry.

Since counting calories and half marathons at lunch are difficult, here are three well documented strategies to avoid weight gain:

1. Don’t travel. We have the best intentions when we travel on business. We pack our workout gear and plan to eat right the entire time. But then we get to the airport and the flight is delayed so we buy a magazine and a bag of Gummy Bears. When we finally get to the hotel we are jet-lagged and tired so we order room service and maybe some wine with a late dinner. Why? Because after all the battles we fought to get here for the company, we deserve it! The next day on the road could include lunch out of a vending machine, donuts or pizza. Why? Because it might be all that is available and we are hungry and, we deserve it! On the trip home we might feel like celebrating so we have that bad meal at the airport and a celebratory toast with our colleagues. Why? Because we deserve it!

2. Don’t eat in your car. Spending too much time commuting is a way of life in most large metro areas. Getting to work is half the battle of work now. To make the part of the day a little more palatable (literally) we might get that latte and a few snacks for the road. The problem is what is edible in a car. We don’t eat healthy cereal or scrambled eggs in a car. We eat donuts, scones, croissants, McMuffins and worse. Later in the day we might eat any fast food available including cheeseburgers, hot dogs, french fries, candy and burritos although burritos present an entirely different challenge. We don’t eat salads because they are too hard to eat while driving so we eat things that are easy to buy and easy to eat. And we do all of this while sitting in traffic for hours. Take a look in the back seat of your car behind the passenger seat. If it is loaded with greasy wrappers and empty Frappuccino cups, you are guilty.

3. Don’t eat the free food in the office. Unless you work at a company like Google, the free food includes bagels, muffins, cookies, a bin of red licorice and sodas. At other times the free food will include Halloween candy that parents stole from the kids and brought into the office or leftover cupcakes. Then there are all the occasions including birthday parties, retirement parties, promotion parties and others that feature cake and ice cream. The coffee and tea can be ok as long as you don’t add all that cream and sugar. Free office food almost always features sugar. It may provide an energy burst but just because it’s free doesn’t mean you have to eat it.

To avoid gaining weight at work, you don’t need to buy another diet book about three day cleanses or super foods. All you need to do is follow the three simple rules outlined here. Do you have any secrets to avoid gaining weight at work? Or better yet, losing weight at work?

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