Whether you work a normal nine-to-five desk job, shift-work, work through the night, or do what feels like endless 24-hour shifts at home looking after your family, finding a balance and managing your weight loss around your job can be tricky. But you can do it! We all need to work, which is why it’s doubly important to find a diet that works, too!
It’s all about preparation and having a plan you can follow. Below we’ve taken common everyday working conditions are provided practical, real-life fixes to aid in weight loss and help you live a healthier life. Get started below!
You Work in an Office
Just because you’re chained to a desk and sat down most of the day doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight. Research has shown excess sitting to be deadly – regardless of how fit you are. Then there are the morning teas and the lure of the vending machines. It’s no wonder you feel so sluggish. Here’s what you need to do.
STAY FIT: Get up and get moving! That’s the message coming from researchers. People who took more frequent breaks from sitting had lower body mass indexes (BMI), slimmer waists, and had healthier blood sugar levels than people who sat for longer, regardless of how much vigorous activity they did outside of the office. In other words, getting up more often is crucial to maintain a healthy weight. It all sounds pretty easy, but it can be easy to forget. Set half-hourly reminders on your phone or computer to get moving, whether it be to the bathroom, kitchen, your colleagues desk, or the water cooler. Also, try going for a 15 minute walk during your lunch break – ask a friend to join you to help create a routine.
EAT RIGHT: Bringing your own lunch from home is the best option. Try bringing in healthy options like canned fish, baked beans, soup sachets and packets of microwavable brown rice. These go great with leftover roast vegetables from home. As for snacks, try packs of mixed nuts, wholegrain bars, fruit tubs, air-popped popcorn or a square or two of dark chocolate. Stay hydrated, too. The air conditioning in your office can leave you dehydrated. Aim to keep a water bottle with you and drink at least 1.5 liters of water throughout the day. This will also help to keep you feeling full and stop cravings.
You do Shift-work
Shift work can play havoc with a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Working in shifts can confuse the body’s natural rhythm by working when it should be sleeping. This has knock-on effects for sleep and health. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived people and those working night shifts have a preference for sweet and processed foods. But it’s easier to build a healthier routine and stay on track. Follow these ideas.
SLEEP WELL: First, make time to sleep. If you can, sleep 7 hours before going to work. If that’s not possible, take a 15 minute nap before work. Set your alarm so you don’t oversleep, then walk around for five minutes to wake up properly.
EAT RIGHT: Do the same as you normally would during the day. Eat three meals and a couple of healthy snacks in a 12hr period – it doesn’t matter when. For example if you wake up at 9pm, have breakfast, then and eat dinner when you get home from work. Spending an hour preparing for the week ahead is also a good idea. When it comes to what to eat, get your energy from low-GI carbohydrates and quality protein sources by making stews, or curries with meat and veggies that you can reheat at work. For extra snacks, choose cans of tuna, baked beans and bananas for energy.
STAY FIT: To keep active, build and organize a routine around your shift. If you work from 11pm to 7am, build in an exercise routine straight after work. Don’t let tiredness deter you either, exercise has been shown to boost energy levels and mood.
You Work from Home (Stay-at-home mom’s)
It can be hard to prioritize your needs when you work at home or have little ones to look after, and that can cause your weight loss plans to come unstuck. Eating all day long can be one of the main problems. You nibble on the kid’s leftovers as well as your own meals. Sound familiar? Try these smart tricks?
EAT RIGHT: If you find yourself eating the kids leftovers out of boredom or not wanting to waste food, put what they don’t eat in a container and give it to them later. You can also re-purpose it. Uneaten veggies can be easily added to soups, or mixed with a can of tuna to make fishcakes. If you have kids that go to school, pack a lunchbox for yourself when you organize their lunches the nigh before. The only eat what you put in there – it’s a great way to stick to your daily calorie allowance. When it comes to dinner, choose when you’re going to eat. Some moms end up eating two dinners, so make a conscious decision whether you’re going to eat at 5pm with your kids or at 8pm with your partner, and stick to it. If you find yourself getting hungry between meals, make yourself some veggie sticks to munch on to tide you over until dinner.
STAY FIT: Look to make your days more active. Make an effort to get out of the house with the kids every day to walk up to the park, beach, or café to meet up with other parents. It’s a great way to get active and keep up your social engagements, too!
You Work on the Road (Travel)
If you’re constantly on the road, whether you’re driving on the road or checking into airports to fly interstate, a lack of consistent daily routine means you’re at the mercy of restaurants, service stations and drive-thru’s, and it can make it hard to stick to an exercise routine.
EAT RIGHT: With a little planning, you can have healthy meals wherever you are. If you know you’re going to be on the road, pack everything you would normally take to work or eat at home in a small esky or cooler. A thermos is also great for soups, or hot and cold drinks. For those moments when you’re caught short, don’t panic. When you’re at the service station, look past the chips and chocolate bars and create your own healthier combos from the aisles, like yoghurt, or a tub of fruit salad and muesli. Use your car spaces to keep you honest. If all else fails, a pack of raw unsalted nuts are a great standby-by in the glove box.
STAY FIT: F When you’re sitting in the car all day, it’s not easy to be active., which is why it’s important to make the most of every opportunity, even if its small. When you’re driving, try engaging your core muscles. Pull your belly button towards your spine to help strengthen the deep abdominal muscles. If you’re going to be away for a longer stint, pack your gym gear and use hotel gyms and swimming pools where possible. Try to keep a routine, too. If you normally exercise before work, do the same when you’re on the road.
Regardless of what your job is or where you work, we can help you find the perfect weight loss plan with our diets that work for women.