There are different reasons as to why your work causes you to pack on kilograms. Stress, lack of physical activity, free cakes and chocolate in the office, business lunches and dinners or even commuting all play a part.
You should take a moment to really dissect your daily life to understand what aspects of your work habits need changing.
Some of the key reasons are:
Do you know that an estimated 17.3 million people will die each year from heart disease and stroke?
This number accounts for around 30 per cent of all total deaths! Stress is one of the causes and precursors for many health conditions, including heart disease.
Stress triggers the release of hormones that can increase appetite, which make you crave more sugary and fatty foods while at the same time, lower your metabolism. Managing your stress level is key to stop the domino effect of work-related weight gain.
You are too busy
Poor time management could be an underlying cause of stress and unhealthy habits. When you are late, you take a taxi instead of walking. When you are late, you don't have time for breakfast, so you snack on a chocolate bar. When you are late, you have less time to prepare for a meeting which in turns gives you a tremendous amount of stress and we all know what stress can do to us!
My father always tells me that being late is expensive and now I know why, it doesn't only cost you more money, being late could actually take a toll on your health.
Lunching out with colleagues
If you pay attention to the lunch options around offices, at least three out of five options are actually unhealthy.
A study proved this by showing that the group with the most exposure to takeout joints at work was almost twice as likely to be obese in comparison to those with who were least exposed.
Sure, we can always choose a healthier option on the menu but let's be honest and realistic, would you really swap those fries with the sad looking salad in a fast food joint? And if you say yes, let me ask you this, how often do you actually do it? A key way to stop eating junk food is to stop going out to lunch with colleagues.
Packing your own lunch helps you to eat healthy at work and it is socially acceptable to take your lunch box and sit with your co-workers who order salted egg pork ribs with fried rice. Not only will it save you on the unnecessary calorie intake, it will save you dollars and without you knowing it, it does save you time!
Stop drinking coffee and start drinking water
In this modern lifestyle, 50 per cent of the time when we think that we are hungry is actually a sign that we are thirsty. So, before you reach for a handful of M&M's or a packet of chips, drink a glass of water first.
Staying hydrated also helps to ensure that your body's systems work well which means you could be less likely to experience headache, cramping and even bad breath! And stop drinking coffee. While everyone drinks coffee and it is good to catch up for a cuppa with the boss to pretend you are interested in what they are saying, you could be drinking water instead. Drink out of a mug and no one will know the difference.
You are what you eat, right? Your first and main source of nutrients should always be fresh and healthy food. Eat your veggies, fruit, protein, healthy carbs and fat.
Some people need supplementation, like Vitamin D, B12 and B6, but these have to be customised for the individual.
The two supplements I take are Activated Phenolics and fish oil, because we live in the highly polluted world, if you eat enough fish to supply your body with enough omega-3, you’d likely die of mercury poisoning first! And you can eat all the apples, grapes and acai berries in the world, but at those low [antioxidant] absorption rates, you are taking in more sugar and water than anything else.
Be more active
Take charge of your life. If you want to change something, do something. Every little thing counts, taking the stairs instead of the lift, waking up half an hour earlier to do a quick workout, skipping a happy hour drink after work and do a meal prep instead.
Dr Vincent Candrawinata is a researcher and innovator in the field of food, health and nutrition. He invented an extraction technology which allows for the natural phenolics in horticultural produce to be used within an innovative nutraceutical product.