Weight Loss
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Losing Weight With A Desk Job...

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I wouldn't consider myself overweight but more-so way out of shape.  Don't get me wrong...I got some lbs to lose but I find it really difficult to get the excercise I need while sitting at a desk all day. 

I try and eat as healthy as I can (salads, protein bars, fruit, etc).  There are temptations all over the office (i.e. candy machines, company stores, bad cafe food, etc) which I can usually stay away from. 

I excercise at the gym during lunch most days (at least three days during the week).  I do at least 20 mins of cardio and lift for another 20-25 mins or so.  I only have an hour and that has to inlcude a shower!

Sometimes I just dont have the energy or drive to go to the gym.  Today is a prime example.  I am tired, stressed, in a bad mood and have a slight headache.  Most of this is work induced.  All morning I was thinking about skipping the gym.  I finally gave myself enough of a guilt trip to make myself go.

Are there any tips that can work?  Desk workouts?  Really good snacks?  Anything that really works?

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I work a full time desk job too, so I know your pain.

First, can you get your exercise in BEFORE going to work?  You'll have to get up earlier, but that means that it will be done sooner.

Eat every 2-3 hours.  Have small healthy snacks between meals to keep from being hungry.  A piece of fruit, a serving of veggies, low fat or fat free dairy, or a serving of almonds are good choices.

You can also do isometric exercises at your desk.  I work my abs at my desk all the time.  :)

I work at a desk job too and I can't STAND IT (for many reasons, but the weight issue is one).

I drink tons of water which gets me off my butt to go to the bathroom.

Me + Tupperware = awesomeness!  I always have tons of tupperware for my breakfast (which I eat at work) and snacks and lunch and I make a trip to the caffiteria a few times a day to clean them out. It's only a few minutes at a time, so you wont miss anything and it gets me standing a bit.

If you're not a smoker, pretend you are and go for a "smoke break"/walk.  Trust me, as an ex-pack a day smoker, no one ever cared when I would go out and smoke, but someone else just stepping out seemed irresponsible.

Good luck!

I like the "smoke walk".  I have done that a couple times but feel guilty.  I kind of feel like I am lying or I don't have the right to take a 10 min break just because I don't smoke.  I should do that more often...like twice a day!

I am also trying to snack way better.  I guess it sounds like I'm doing it right.  It just sucks and takes a long time to see any results.  I am an instant gratification type of person.  So a slow process is sometimes painful for me when I don't see results right away.

Even if I go to the gym during lunch, I am still getting excercise after work with my dog.  This has been the case for about two going on three weeks now.  So if I keep this up I am bound to see some heavy results.  I am only looking to lose 20 lbs.

Fingers crossed.


Just remember, it takes time and you just have to keep at it.

I have been working out 5 hours a week, every week since Feb 3rd. I have monitered my cals and tried to make a cal deficit anywhere from 0-700 (0 being my maintenince days) and i'm down 15 pounds...and it took almost three months to do. 

You didn't gain it over night so give it time.

OP: you are doing a lot better than I am at a desk job!  Its tough, I wake up with the best intentions to eat healthy, go to the gym after work, and even pack my work clothes.  then on the train home, the gym is one stop before my house, and lately its just been waaaay to easy to stay on those two extra stops :)

I hear you on that!  Luckily, my gym is in the same building I work at.  However, I drive from Wells, ME to Andover, MA everyday for work...so if I skip the gym or have a lunchtime meeting at work, it's really tough to get motivated to go for a run when I get home.  So far so good.   The nicer weather has been helping a lot!  Once it gets really warm I can burn off some mean calories while surfing. 

You could try standing whenever possible instead of sitting, which doesn't look out of place in fast-paced environments. Take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator. If your parking is unassigned, park as far away as possible. Use the furthest restroom you can, and go often. I bring snacks to work, then throw the trash away in the dumpster (which is even further than the furthest bathroom) because I don't like my office smelling like old food.

When I played tennis, I used to bring a gripper for my forearm muscles. I'm not sure what else I could inconspicuously do at a desk. I think it's pointless to work out when you don't want to. For me, working out puts me in a much better mood, and that's my motivation. But I don't work out during lunch - I don't think I'd enjoy that much either. So I save it for after, and it helps me relax.

I just recently started taking a late lunch at 2 and going to the gym. This works out perfectly for me because I usually get either tired, munchy, or stressed around that time of the day. I use it as a reward to get away from the office, take a break and it helps with munchies or whatever else may be going on. I always feel better once I go and instead of forcing myself to do something i feel like i have to in my head i consider it a treat.  Since i go at 2 i only have 2 hours once i get back to the office of work, so i normally don't worry about a shower. I wipe down with a towel and throw my hair up in a pony and just don't worry about it. Its only 2 hours. 

My boss has also let me replace my chair with an excercise ball, its not much but sitting on that throughout the day burns extra calories and is good for the days when i don't make it to the gym.

They say just figeting and moving more throughout the day helps burns calories as well as deep  breathing. I've heard somewhere that think about what is needed to "burn" a fire.. A Heat, B something to burn (fuel) , and C oxygen.  Well your body already has the heat and the fuel either from food you've eaten or fat storages, so the more oxygen you give it the more calories you will burn.. Thought that was pretty intresting.


Original Post by lauraserendipity:

My boss has also let me replace my chair with an excercise ball, its not much but sitting on that throughout the day burns extra calories and is good for the days when i don't make it to the gym.

Me too, me too! I borrowed one for a week from a co-worker that had gone on vacation, and I could not believe how much I could feel my abs after the first couple days.  I was floored, and went out to buy my own. If you do try this, make sure you get the right sized ball, I didn't know there were different sizes, and I ended up buy one that was too small and I had my keyboard at my chest, it was pretty funny.

Oh and you do get some pretty funny looks lol!

Hey Bud.  I am in the same boat.  I use the gym after work before I head home.  I don't know how long your commute is but I go 80 miles each way.  Once I get in the car, I can forget about it.

I can't get to a gym at all and don't like the places much anyway.  One of my solutions to this problem was to find a cheap exercise bike on E-Bay and sit it opposite a portable TV/DVD player and a stack of box-set comedies!  Every evening I try to get half an hour doing that and I've recently added hand-weights to the process just to keep things interesting.

Other 'non-gym' things to get more movement into the everyday ..... using the stairs instead of lifts and escalators; parking the car further from the destination;  taking a walk at lunchtimes.... and the one my doctor recommended - attaching a pedometer to my waistband and trying to get 10,000 steps average a day.  It's trickier than it sounds.  Weekends is a good time to get more activity.  My 'thing' is hillwalking so that eats up several hours.  You could get a bicycle and try long bike-rides, play a round of golf, go swimming, take the missus dancing ... all kinds of things. 

I think you just have to bemore creative when your time is limited, not narrowly think exercise can only take place in a gym and use any and every opportunity to 'move' rather than 'sit'.  Good luck


11 Replies