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Simple Ways to Lose Weight at Your Desk

April 14, 2017 | Diet & Weight Loss

Sitting at a desk job all day doesn’t necessarily have to be a prescription for weight gain. Here are easy things to do all day long to lose weight while sitting at a desk job.

Learn the 7 sneaky reasons you can’t lose weight.

Set a timer to get up.

You’ve heard this tip before, but it’s worth repeating. Simply standing up more often helps to prevent weight gain versus sitting. We expend a surprising number of calories through non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)—activities like walking to the water cooler, vacuuming, and even toe tapping and fidgeting. This incidental movement can help with fat loss, say The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN. Obese people tend to sit 2.5 hours a day more than their sedentary lean counterparts, research shows. Some fitness bands not only track your steps, but they’ll remind you if you’ve been inactive for a certain period of time. You can set a quiet vibration timer on your phone or a desktop one with your sound turned off (like e.ggtimer.com) that’ll remind you to get up and take a loop around the office. Need major weight-loss motivation?

Throw away those bad-for-you “in case of emergency” snacks.

We’ve all had those days where a meeting runs way too long and you don’t have time to grab lunch. Your best bet to prevent a “hangry” (hunger + angry) episode: Rely on fiber-filled, protein-packed snacks that will keep you satisfied on relatively few calories, suggests Lakatos. Keep non-perishable snacks in your office drawer, like pre-portioned nut packs, or lower-sugar granola bars like KIND bars, roasted chickpeas, whole grain crackers, and even a small jar of peanut butter or almond butter. If you have access to an office fridge, stash these nutritious foods: apples, edamame, black bean dip or hummus for your crackers, non-fat yogurt topped with one tablespoon of granola, cucumber slices with low-fat cottage cheese, and raw, sliced veggies like carrots, peppers, and celery. (Try these 50 foods to add to your grocery list.)

Sip tea to help you feel calm but focused.

Green, black, and oolong tea contain the amino acid theanine, which brings on a state of mental calmness yet alertness. This may help ease anxiety and prevent overeating due to emotional stress, while also making you very alert and mindful of your food choices. When you make good, healthy, rational meal decisions you stay leaner

 

Try this abs-zipping exercise.

“We rely on this and it truly makes a huge flat-belly difference,” says Lakatos. Activate your abs by squeezing them in tight and pulling them back against your spine as you exhale. Picture zipping your abs together by using your muscles to contract your abs by pulling in from the center—think about pulling everything in a vertical line from your belly button up to between your breastbone, while also holding everything in and back toward your spine. Hold for a count of 10 as you continue to exhale. Slowly release and repeat for 10 reps at least three times. “Not only will this create good posture, it will also wake up the abs muscles and make it easier to keep your abs in,” says Lakatos Shames. Bonus: When you’re focusing on flat abs and a tight stomach you’re less likely to overeat at your desk.

 

5. Squeeze your butt.

Tense up gluteal muscles as you sit in your chair. Hold for 10 seconds. Do reps of 10 at a time. No one has to know you’re doing them.

 

6. Fire up the digestion process.

Make your stomach flatter with this digestion exercise to stimulate peristalsis, the wave-like muscle contractions that move food through the digestive tract. Suck in your stomach as far as you can, then stick it out as far as you can. Breathe in when sucking in and breathe out when you push your stomach out. This small exercise helps blood flow to the stomach, aids in digestion, and exercises your abdominal muscles, says Lakatos Shames.

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About Diana

About Diana

Diana Kelly is a freelance journalist, editor, and digital strategist with extensive experience working with national magazines, writing for award-winning websites, and creating content strategy for established brands and startups.

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