Weight Loss at the Office

Updated on July 23, 2010
T.K. asks from Grand Prairie, TX
13 answers

I work in a 9-5 office. I'm getting the secretary spread! I have packed on the lbs since I started 3 years ago. We eat constantly. Vendors drop off donuts, cookies, cupcakes as appreciation gifts. They bring us Chilis gift cards and show up with bbq or burgers. It's great! Also my boss buys us lunch at least once a week. Usually Olive Garden, On the Border. We eat out ALOT! I'm trying to choose healthy oprions off the menu and I usually only eat half the portion. I save the rest for dinner or lunch the next day. I have also started working out 4 nights a week. I want to keep healthy food at the office so on those days when noone brings us food, I don't end up at a drive through. We have a fridge, microwave, toaster oven, toaster, and panini maker at work. So far I have been bringing frozen diet entress like Smart Ones, Lean Cousine, etc. and lots of fruit. I don't like relying on those meals because they are loaded with sodium and carbs and not much nutrition. How do you manage your weight at your job? What affordable foods can I bring so that I can have a small breakfast, healthy lunch and afternoon snack and still lose weight. Or at least stop gaining! Also, I get VERY sleepy at 3pm every day. SO, I usually grab a coke. Doesn't really help much and I know it's adding to my dress size. I have tried getting up and walking briskly around the office at 3 to get energy, but I can't always get away from my desk and that really doesn't help much either. SO, I need to lose weight, and increase my energy level in an efficient, budget friendly way at work. Any ideas?

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone for the ideas and support. I have taken your advice to heart. I have drastically increased my water intake at home and at work. I've replaced my 3pm coke with highly caffeinated tea - so I get through the slump and all the way through my evening workout. I have to say, I have no intention of excercising at work. I do not want to sweat in my pretty dress and heels! Plus I work out 4 - 5 nights a week, so that'll have to do. I also prefer to remove all makeup before working out, so really no working out at work for me. And while I started passing on the sweets a long time ago, I'm getting better at making better choices when we order lunch. I'm getting impatient though, so, I may go full Atkins for a little while. I've also started adding weights to my workout, so we'll see how well that goes. I am bringing more healthy snacks to keep on hand. Thanks for your suggestions on that. Wish me luck.

Featured Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

Eat chocolate!! Healthy chocolate at www.fortheluvofchocolate.com I lost 30 lbs. and now they have a protein shake to help you even more.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Johnstown on

Drink water! Seriously--if you feel the urge to snack, drink water. Also, chew sugar free gum.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

Wow, that's a tough environment to work in! I would imagine that there are others in your office that are in the same boat. What would probably help is if you could form a healthy eating support group at work. When I worked in an office, someone formed a Weight Watchers at Work group. The more people you can get on the healthy eating bandwagon, the more healthy options people will bring to work. Sounds like you are doing all the right things on your own. Switch to a Diet Coke. Bring lots of fruit and some sugar free hard candies to suck on when you get the urge to munch. The Weight Watcher forums are free and have some great suggestions for working people on there:

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

You can walk outside during lunch. Drink lots of water. Always have a midmorning snack AND a midafternoon snack to fight off hunger and cravings. I usually bring fruit for both of those snacks. Or wheat-thins. I also keep a jar of peanut butter at my desk and have a spoonful now and then when I'm hungry and forgot to bring a healthy snack. Lunch, I eat leftovers from last night's dinner (which is hopefully healthy). Frozen entrees are really bad for you -- i used to do those too until I found out how bad. Eek.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm ex corporate from FritoLay Marketing. Food was all over the place and I saw a lot of people with your problem.

Just say "No thank you" to the extra snacks, etc You are not obligated to take a cupcake or do-nut

Good for you for recogninzing this before it is too late on the slippery slope. Exercise is great. Keep making healthy choices, however, I would say no to sodas. Eat a pack of almonds, peanuts or cashews, granola bar.....they help curb the appetite and give you an energy boost.

Good luck!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I second the idea of forming a Weight Watchers group at your office. A number of colleagues did that at my old office years ago (when I was still slim) and they all were successful.

Also, joining an organization such as Weight Watchers will change your mindset. I signed up with WW's online only program a couple months ago and it's made a world of difference in how I view food (not to mention, I've been losing weight!). I just got back from a week-long cruise and actually lost two pounds! That was with having dessert every night, but just making smart choices throughout the day and getting in four trips to their gym. For me, I looked at the cruisers with loaded plates of fattening foods and they motivated me not to be like them. So, I would see those donuts and other treats around the office and honestly not feel tempted (and this is a big deal, because I have a major sweet tooth). I think you'd find it really helpful to join a weight loss organization that can get you in a similar mindset.

Some great items to have at work include yogurts for breakfast or that mid-morning craving, protein bars such as those from Kashi to get you moving again at 3 pm, Laughing Cow cheeses and Special K crackers are another awesome low-cal, healthy snack. For lunch, try the new sandwich thins on the market (only 100 calories) with lean meats and veggies on top. Also, start drinking water. I wasn't a big water drinker before, but now I swear by it. Keep a glass sitting out so it's always there.

Best of luck to you! You can do this.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

If the option is there...
take the stairs...
During any little breaks you might get...either go outside for a walk, or just do laps on the stairs

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Get a good pedometer and walk 12000 steps a day. Also, pay attention to your fullness level and listen to it.

I have a sit down job and I got a pedometer. I learned that I was in the severely sedentary level. Over time, I've learned to find ways to add steps to my day. The cool thing is that a step is a step is a step. Step at a mall - it counts. Step the long way to the restroom - it counts. Every single step adds up. Walking 12000 steps a day has me losing weight.

If Coke doesn't help, then keep telling yourself this. I'm much less tired when I limit sugar. I surprisingly found this out when I started to limit myself to one day a week of sweets. On that day, no holds barred. The less tired thing was an unexpected bonus. Exercise should also help you sleep better, so maybe that will do the trick as well.

Good luck! It would be really hard for me to handle such a tempting environment.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Nobody is forcing the food into your mouth, you feed yourself. Make a choice not to have the donuts,etc. Drink water. Watch your portion sizes. Even half of some restaurant entrees are still double what your body needs. Have snacks that are a mix of whole grain & protein or fruit/veggies with a little protein. For example apples slices with peanut butter, veggies with hummus, whole grain cracker & low fat cheese. This will prevent dramatic blood sugar drops. Make your lunch and bring it to work. Keep healthy snacks in your desk. Try Weigh Watchers online.

If you are eating out check the menus and nutrition info online so you know what you are eating. Exercise is also very important. Walk before or after work. If you have kids do it with them. Take the stairs. If you are allowed bring a balance ball to sit on at your desk. There are chair exercises you can do while sitting on the phone.
Make the choice to get healthier, make a plan and stick to it. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I lost weight at my office job, but I was also breastfeeding for a year. :) I try to go for a walk on my lunch break (I get an hour) and go at least a mile on our block. If I can't, I stand up frequently and walk to other office instead of emailing or calling. I try to work out after work but that doesn't always happen with my kids home, so I'm bringing gym clothes and baby wipes and trying to go walking/jogging at lunch, too. In the winter I run in the utility stairwell since it is 3 or 4 flights and I keep hand weights at work.

For snacking I drink water all day refilling a 20 oz. bottle. I try to only drink my coffee in the first half of the day (I'm also 7 weeks pregnant, so it makes me more jittery, but I'm cutting back from a pot a day). I keep a box of wheat square cereal instead of crackers since they are little healthier and I snack on those. My office is a little more health-conscious, so while we have a dish of chocolate, we try to keep dark chocolate or something with almonds in it. I alternate my snacks, but buy Kashi bars, raw almonds or walnuts, bring carrots, cut veggies (like peppers) and fruit. I keep high fiber instant oatmeal for my 10:30 snack and that holds me for lunch. I do end up eating the canned Select Harvest soups (some of the low calories ones are only 100-200 calories in the whole can) or my husband makes me a turkey sandwich. Eating a healthy breakfast really helps me for the whole day, so I also try to have something like a wheat English muffin with an egg and yogurt. I also keep tea bags at work in case I need something hot or caffeinated later in the day.

You might try printing an online 10-minute Pilates or Yoga workout from a health website, like Shape.com or womenshealthmag.com so you can do that at work without breaking a sweat, but helping your muscles and getting away from your desk. Keep a food/activity journal, even if it is vague (I like this and track my weight, but can't track everything I eat, just the general "ate really well" or "ate well but had chocolate cake after dinner"). I also snack on air-popped popcorn in the evening and sometimes bring that to work. Good luck! Make sure you're getting 5 fruits/veggies a day and plenty of calcium! :)

Oh, and about the goodies people bring in--my coordinator and I are trying to be very health-conscious, so sometimes if we really want that cupcake we just split it. See if you can do that so you get the taste of the treat but not all the calories. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sarasota on

Make it a contest for the most weight loss. Get as many involved as possible. Encourage your boss to get involved or a least put in some incentive money. Healthier employees mean less time-off from work and lower insurance premiums. We used Transitions Lifestyle System at our office. You can get a free distance coach that will hold weekly webinars at lunchtime. It truly changed the lives of the people that followed the 12 week program. Let me know if you would like more info: [email protected]____.com Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I take 2 hard boiled eggs, yogurt, and a string cheese for lunch every day, and usually some chips or popcorn. I helps me to eat the same thing every day.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

My husband began using Take Shape for Life (http://www.BeFitforLife.tsfl.com). He eats their meals 5 times a day (breakfast, lunch, 3 snacks) and then a healthy lean and green meal for dinner. He lost 32 lbs in 6 weeks and brought his blood pressure down from hypertension to normal. Most people look at the price of the program and immediately shake their heads but I can tell you from personal experience, I am spending about $75 less a week on groceries PLUS my husband is spending less money because he isn't going out to lunch during the week or stopping off at McD's for fries and a Coke on the way home because he's took tired to keep his eyes open! We've even gone out to dinner and ordered carryout and have saved money every single time because we aren't ordering the huge plates of nachos and desserts. It's been a huge help to our family and when my son is born next month, I am going on the nursing mother's program as well!!

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