How to Lose Weight When Sitting at a Desk

A sedentary lifestyle has always been considered a risk factor for a number of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. However, most people have demanding jobs that require sitting at the desk for the whole day. Leading a sedentary life style doesn’t have to stop you from reaching your weight loss goals. You can still lose weight while sitting at the desk all day, by taking some simple measures. Here are some simple tips to lose weight while sitting at a desk.


How to Lose Weight When Sitting at a Desk

1. Drink lots of water

Always make sure that you have water at your desk. Stay sufficiently hydrated so that you don’t confuse thirst for hunger. Water is an essential component for the optimal functioning of the different metabolic processes of the body. It has been found that when people drink 2 glasses of water before a meal, they consume 90 percent less calories during the meal. Water also helps burn more calories as it is needed for most metabolic processes in the body. You can flavor the water with lemon or any other herb or fruit of your choice to make water more appetizing.

2. Drink green tea

Drinking green tea helps in weight loss. It contains the antioxidant called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that augments the metabolic processes in the body. EGCG helps in weight loss by inhibiting the breakdown of the hormone norepinephrine. This hormone is essential for the brain to signal the breaking down of fat. EGCG increases the amount of norepinephrine in the body by inhibiting its breakdown and therefore increases burning of fat.  Studies show that green tea can help you burn more calories even at rest. If you drink green tea you burn 3-4% more calories when compared to people who don’t consume green tea. You can lose weight sitting at a desk by drinking green tea.

3. Perform desk exercises

There are exercises for your abdomen, thighs, calf muscles and butt that you can do even while seated at your desk. You can also try switching you chair for a stability ball. A stability ball tones your core, back and legs and helps burn calories.

  • Desk exercise to tone your abs

Squeeze in your abs tight and pull them against your spine while you exhale. Hold in this position for a count of ten while you exhale during this period. Release slowly. Repeat for ten repetitions at least thrice in a day.

  • Desk exercise to tone your thighs

Remain seated on your chair with straight back and feet placed on floor. Slowly elevate your right leg till it comes in level to your hip. Lower slowly. Repeat 12-16 times. Do with the other leg.

  • Desk exercise to strengthen your calf muscles

Stand holding the back of the chair. Place your right foot on the back of the lower left leg. Perform toe raises on left foot. Do on the other leg.

  • Desk exercise to tone and tighten your butt

Tense your gluteal muscles while sitting in your chair. Hold in this position for ten seconds. Do repetitions of 10 at one time.

 4. Perform breathing exercises

Take deep breaths several times during your day while at work. Deep breathing ensures that your cells get enough oxygen which will enhance your metabolism. Shallow breathing slows your metabolism and can lead to weight gain.

 5. Always have healthy snacks at your desk

Stock up on healthy fiber filled, high protein snacks such as nuts, dry fruits, yoghurt and humus. There are days when you are overloaded with work or when you are forced to miss lunch because the office meeting went too long. During those times you can feed on the healthy snacks you have stocked up until you get time for lunch. Stocking up on healthy snacks will also prevent you from racing to the vending machine for an unhealthy snack. Moreover, starving yourself until you have time for lunch will force you to binge eat.

6. Eat lots of fruits

Fruits are rich in fiber and they have a low glycemic index. The fiber in fruits can slow digestion and make you feel full and satiated. You can substitute fruits for higher calorie and high glycemic index foods in your diet. Research shows that fruits lead to weight loss even if you have not restricted your food intake. It is advised that you consume at least five servings of fruit of different colors per day. Watermelon, guava, pear, oranges, peaches and strawberries have been found to aid weight loss. You can pack these fruits along with your lunch to snack at your desk.

7. Chew a gum

A study conducted by the University of Rhode Island showed that when people chew gum they consume 68 fewer calories than people who didn’t. Chewing gum also prevents people from eating fat rich foods and helps satisfy their cravings. Reaching for a gum whenever you have a craving to eat an unhealthy snack such as potato chips will be an intelligent strategy for weight loss. You can lose weight sitting at a desk by chewing gum.

8. Start a weight loss group at work

Find people in your work place who have similar weight loss goals like you. Share tips and recipes through group emails to lose weight. You can all together reduce temptations at work by removing high calorie foods from your office pantries and common eating areas. Your motivational levels will also increase if you together with your group make common weight loss goals that everyone in the group wants to attain. 

 9. Listen to music

Listening to music reduces stress and the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes carbohydrate cravings and increases fat storage. If you can listen to music while you are working or during your break it will be ideal to help your weight loss. Music also releases endorphin which is the feel good hormone that is released when you dance, laugh, exercise, etc. Endorphin has been found to reduce appetite and augment burning of fat.

10. Don’t delay lunch

No matter how hard your work day is make sure you eat your lunch on schedule. It is recommended that you eat your lunch before 3 pm. Study shows that women suffering from obesity who ate their lunch after 3 pm, lost 25 percent  less than women who ate their lunch before 3 pm. This was observed even when the women in both the groups ate the same food for lunch. You can lose weight sitting at a desk by eating lunch on schedule.