Why is it that the older people get, the less active they generally become? How do we prevent weight gain? Why do we often begin to neglect those lifestyle choices necessary for healthy living at the age when they’re needed the most? Unfortunately, due to many of today’s social practices and individual lifestyle choices, many people find it difficult to stay active and stick with healthy eating practices that promote wellness and a healthy body weight. If you work in an office environment, it can be hard to stick with your weight loss plan. Workers who spend their careers in sedentary jobs can generally be heavier than people in highly active jobs. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Chicago in 2001 that examined the combined data presented by three major national health surveys suggests that a worker in a sedentary career may end up with a BMI 3.3 units higher than someone in a highly active job. For a height of 5’5″ this could mean a difference in weight from 140 pounds to 155 pounds! A sedentary job shouldn’t be the reason you gain weight. Although working in an office environment can be one major factor in weight gain, here are 7 helpful tips for healthy eating at work to help you fight off the extra pounds that often come with a desk job.

Challenge your coworkers to a get-fit challenge to Prevent Weight Gain!

Make your meal plan for weight loss fun by challenging each other to get fit. You can make your challenge more enjoyable by having potlucks with healthy eating choices, by starting a recipe exchange with your coworkers, or by going for walks on your lunch break. Invite your coworkers to work together, and be sure to support one another to make sure you all stick with it.

Don’t forget to eat.

A typical workday can be hectic. With meetings, answering emails, and returning phone calls, it’s hard to find a moment for yourself. Even though you’re busy, it’s important to consume your regular meals throughout the day. This might mean brown-bagging your lunch. If you decide to bring microwaveable dinners with you, don’t forget to read the label first. Many frozen dinners contain a lot of sodium and excess calories.

Make the right choices.

Whether you usually eat in the cafeteria or go out for lunch, try to stick to your healthy eating meal plan as much as possible by learning about healthy eating out to help yourself lose weight. And if you find that your cafeteria or workplace doesn’t offer choices that fit into your plan, ask whoever is in charge of food services to prepare healthier meal options that will benefit not only you but the entire company as well.

Keep moving.

If you live close to work, walk or bike to the office rather than driving or taking the subway in every day. If you drive to work, park further away from the entrance to get in a couple minutes of activity. Or jump off the bus a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work or home. This will help burn off extra calories over the span of a year.

Stay active even when you’re not.

Advances in technology may be making the workplace more convenient, but they’re decreasing the chance of physical activity throughout the day. Instead of sitting at your desk sending an email, get up and take a memo over to your coworker or supervisor. Or take the stairs instead of the elevator. You’d be surprised how quickly the little things add up.

Join a gym or purchase some home gym equipment.

To keep employees active and healthy, many workplaces have started offering to pay for gym memberships and fitness classes or to compensate employees for part of their memberships. Find out if your workplace offers any compensation programs for joining a gym or purchasing exercise equipment. And remember, once you get a membership, use it. Don’t spend your money on a gym membership and use it only a few times.

Change up your social networking.

Instead of meeting coworkers at the bar for drinks and wings after work, try some new and fun activities that don’t necessarily revolve around food. Try bowling, playing a round of mini-golf, or enjoying some other leisurely team sport such as softball with a bunch of coworkers. You’ll still have a great time without the extra calories. Hopefully this has helped you to change some parts of your daily routine. Don’t let unhealthy habits become ingrained. Incorporate these simple healthy eating tips into your workday, and get one step closer to achieving your weight loss goals.

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