Many people with a desk job inevitably face the problem of gaining weight. Sitting at your desk for many hours can have bad physiological effects on your body.
Bright Side weighed in on why you’re putting on the pounds at work and what you can do to stop it from happening.
Eating for the company, even when you’re full.
A coworker’s birthday, homemade cookies, and grandma’s signature cake are the main reasons you put on some weight at work. You might not even notice how those small slices on your plate turn into extra inches on your waist.
Decision: When a delicious piece of food is put on display, people are going to eat more often. You can use jars in the kitchen to hide all the tempting candy. Or just learn to say “no” politely when coworkers offer you a snack.
You’re not eating mindfully.
You plan an eating routine for the whole day in the early morning. A healthy lunch in the cafe is a part of your plan. When lunchtime comes, you realize that hunger is torturing you. The day has been long and hard, and you can’t say “no” to the idea of ordering pizza. But you promise that tomorrow you’ll stick to the healthy eating routine. Sounds familiar?
Decision: Make a list of everything you eat for one week. This method helps you track the times when you interrupt your ration plan and be strategic about it. You can also bring healthy snacks to work to avoid overeating.
Lighting and room temperature affect your appetite.
Researchers found that dimly lit rooms boost appetite. The lightness of the room affects your desire to eat more when it’s dark and less when the light is bright. The same rule applies to the temperature of the room.
Decision: Get outside for some fresh air and a quick walk on a sunny day – it can do wonders for the body and spirit. In case you’re cold in your office, bring your favorite cozy sweater. You can also discuss lighting levels and room temperature with the administration of your office.
Working after hours.
Working longer hours could also impact the weight of an individual. The lack of free time means that you would rather skip exercise. The lack of sleep disbalances hormones that regulate your appetite, increasing the one that causes hunger.
Decision: Get moving! When you don’t have time to work out, try to use stairs more often and take long walks instead of bus rides. And don’t forget about sleeping well: physical activity can help you get great shut-eye.
Stress and deadlines put you under pressure.
A consistent level of stress at work can be one of the major reasons for weight gain. High levels of stress increase levels of the hormone cortisol, triggering fat and sugar cravings.
Decision: Physical activity and good sleep duration might help here. And you should remember that food is not a friend and it can’t solve your problems. There are many ways to reduce the level of stress in your brain and body. For example, try breathing and relaxation exercises.
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for Bright Side