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Weight Loss Mistakes to Avoid at Work

Waking up, going to work, spending eight or more hours there, and traveling home can have a large impact on our diets, our sense of wellbeing, and our ability to lose weight. Because work often involves stress along with unusual and/or tight scheduling, it can be a place where our weight loss efforts begin to unravel.

If you live a busy life – and who doesn’t? – check to see if you’re making any of these weight loss mistakes at work. Being aware is the first step toward avoiding them crushing your weight loss dreams.

1. Not Packing Snacks

To get through the day, you need proper meals and snacks that provide you with the right nutrition to keep you going. If you don’t pack your own snacks, you’re likely to get peckish and feel your energy or concentration flagging. When that happens, the vending machine or the snack cart can look very tempting. You might think you’re only having one treat. After all, what’s wrong with one? But if you’re not bringing appropriate snacks to work, that one indulgence can easily become one every day, which will torpedo your weight loss program.

If you can manage it, store some snacks at work and restock each week.

2. Buying Lunch

You promise yourself each day that you’ll buy a healthy lunch. How often does that really work out? Honestly…

Just as grocery shopping when you’re hungry almost guarantees you’ll indulge at the store, looking for lunch when you’re ravenous and pressed for time is a pathway to grabbing a diet buster meal. 

Adopt a balanced nutritional routine of planned meals in order to achieve meaningful and lasting weight loss.

3. Eating at Your Desk

Sometimes working through lunch is unavoidable. Problems arise when you eat and work simultaneously. With your attention focused on work, it’s too easy to lose track of how much you actually consume.

If working during lunch is unavoidable, do your utmost to plan and pack your lunch each day. The time when you’re most motivated about a healthful lunch is in the morning before you leave for work. Use that time.

4. Staying Late Means Indulging

Having to work late is common. But just because you stay late doesn’t mean you have to make bad choices about what you eat or automatically agree to the pizza that your colleagues want to order. Working late disrupts your body’s routine. That goes double if you eat quick ‘junk’ because the combination of changed routine and poor food can cause digestive problems and weight gain. Your simple solution is to ensure that you carry extra snacks – just in case – and have some prepared meals at home in the freezer. Or else keep a couple of those meals in the freezer at work for when an unexpected late session arises.

5. Stress Eating

No matter what line of work you’re in, stress is often a part of it. Work stress is a leading cause of overindulgence and weight gain. When you’re stressed, your body produces a natural steroid called cortisol, which is “public health enemy number one”. Avoid making the typical weight loss mistake at work of reaching for the nearest convenient ‘comfort’ snacks. Those are usually in a vending machine and are loaded with sugar. Sugar, along with caffeine, can become a ‘crutch’ for getting through times of stress. The sugar hit releases dopamine in your brain, which makes you feel better and ‘happier’ – temporarily, until your elevated blood glucose level crashes down again, creating a desire to eat more sugary junk. Thus the cycle of stress eating goes.

Avoid these weight loss mistakes when you’re at work by being prepared. Follow a proven weight loss program, prepare your meals and snacks in advance, and be confident knowing you’ll be ready to tackle any situation without killing your weight goals.

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