5 Ways Your Job Is Undermining Your Weight Loss Efforts
Most adults spend more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week in the workplace, especially now that the default is to work from home. One can only imagine how the effects and consequences of such a working lifestyle would affect various aspects of a person’s health, weight in particular.
Although it is unrealistic to expect your workplace culture to change overnight, recognizing the adverse effects of your job on your well-being will get you started addressing the problem and getting back in shape. Here are five factors from unhealthy work environments that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
1. Sedentary lifestyles
Unfortunately, deskbound jobs significantly account for the increase in weight for most workers. Compound this lack of movement with high-stress levels, and you have a surefire recipe for weight gain.
Additional factors linked to deskbound jobs, like poor posture, also lead to back pain and fatigue issues, making the worker less inclined to exercise or head to the gym after work, in conjunction with preferring to just crashing on the couch after a long day at work and sleeping in.
2. High-stress levels
Stress creates a ripple effect on one’s state of mind and body. For instance, many people engage in emotional or binge eating comfort food when stressed— though one can content that what we eat is within our control, it is also the body’s nervous system’s response to stress.
Many workers also skip proper meals due to stress or delay having their meals on time, resulting in large meal portions later on throughout the day. With the lack of exercise, a healthy eating routine, and high levels of stress and anxiety, chronic inflammatory diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes are imminent.
3. Overwork and fatigue
Overworked and burnt out adults usually adopt unhealthy behaviours leading to weight gain, on top of inconsistent diet and physical activity. Employees who work above hours, i.e. a work culture known as presenteeism, are more likely to eat, grab, and go whatever is convenient and within reach. This usually means foods high in sugar, sodium and fat.
It is important to remember that work is never-ending, and our health should never be at the expense of it. Practising boundaries between yourself and work and taking breaks while working is essential, especially now that you are working in the comfort of your home, where getting carried away with work is likely. Being out in the sun for a short few minutes helps regulate your circadian rhythms and energy, and it has also been linked to weight loss results.
4. Lack of sleep
Research has consistently established correlations between sleep deprivation and weight gain. Consequently, employees with longer work hours and heavy workloads tend to pull all-nighters and oversleep afterwards to make up for the loss of sleep. It is also common to sleep less than the recommended eight hours of sleep, resulting in a phenomenon known as sleep debt.
Furthermore, staying up late or pulling all-nighters increases the odds of reaching for convenient meals, like fast food or instant noodles. Come the following day, unsurprisingly, workers would be sleepy at work, resorting to a cup of coffee for a quick shot of energy.
The unhealthy snacks in your office pantry, the candy bowl on your desk, and vending machine out in the hallway can have a ruinous effect on your diet. If you frequently go out to lunch with your colleagues, their unhealthy food choices may also rub off on you.
Distracted eating, which is mindlessly snacking at your desk throughout the day as you work, can drive you to skip meals from feeling “full” from all the snacking. Should healthy lunch options be unavailable nearby, it might be worth the effort to meal prep your food ahead of time.
We spend so much time at work that it is crucial to think about its impact on our health and self-care. One should identify factors that impede their weight loss endeavours and counteract them with renewed efforts and revised methods.
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