Don’t Let Your Job Make You Fat
Desk jobs, coffee runs and birthday cakes can make working life a minefield if you’re dieting. Here’s how to ensure the 9-5 doesn’t sabotage your slimming plan…
Problem: You get food as a perk
Solution: In subsidised canteens opt for salads and lean meat, pasta and tomato sauce or a baked potato with tuna but no mayo. If a job in food or catering means you’re allowed to take leftovers home, share with friends.
Being employed by a fast-food resturant is the trickiest, but most now publish the calorie and fat content of their foods so you can do your homework and choose wisely.
Problem: The morning coffee-shop run is just too tempting
Solution: The way to avoid temptation is to have a good breakfast (e.g. grainy toast and Marmite, a yoghurt and a peice of fruit) before you leave the house, or to bring something healthy (like a sachet of instant porridge and some dried fruit) to eat at your desk.
A skinny cappuccino is OK at around 80 calories but avoid full-fat lattes and other fancy coffees.
Problem: You’re stuck behind a desk all day
Solution: Try ditching your chair and sitting on a stability ball which works lots of core muscles (start with an hour a day and gradually do it for longer).
Or walk to a colleague’s desk rather then emailing.
You could also stand up while you are on the phone (standing burns 30 per cent more calories than sitting).
A 20-minute brisk walk each lunch time will stop your weight increasing by 2lb a year.
Problem: The only snacks available are from the vending machine
Solution: Bringing in your own healthy snacks from home keeps you in control. Good options are low-fat yoghurt, an apple, raisins or some fruit bread.
Keep a bottle of water on you desk too – it will give your hands something to do when you’re stressed and divert you from eating when you’re not hungry.
Problem: There’s always cream cakes when it’s someone’s birthday
Solution: Ask you colleagues to get you some fresh fruit instead. Or be really virtuous and ask them to put the cost of your cake into the charity box. Another option – if everyone agrees – is to put the money into a kitty and have a good night out at the end of the year instead.