Many people find that when they have a change in their lifestyle such as a job change or an injury that makes them more sedentary, they tend to gain unwanted weight.
Naturally the difference is the decrease in physical movement burning calories to help maintain a healthy weight. When you burn less without ingesting less, weight gain occurs.
Does that mean you have to stop eating? Definitely not! We need essential nutrients from our food.
Here are some suggestions to bring your energy intake and output back into balance. After all, energy balance is the key to weight management.
- Find ways to be more physical. Walk up the stairs to your office and stop using the elevator. Park in the farthest parking spot instead of the closest. Take your break for lunch or during the day and walk around the area. Keep moving, get up from your desk every hour for at least a few minutes.
- Avoid sugar sweetened beverages. Drink water or other non-caloric drinks that will not put your energy balance out of whack. It is really easy to consume a large number of calories in our beverages such as soda, iced tea or juice without realizing it.
- Keep the candy jar off your desk. Don’t take candy or treats from other people’s desks either. This is another mindless way we eat more calories than we need. Keep your eating for your meal or planned snacks.
- Make your planned snacks appropriate to your overall meal plan including food choices that are nutrient dense such as fruit and low fat cheese, yogurt or hummus and veggies instead of candy bars, snack chips or other high calorie/high fat foods.
- Eat healthy, lower calorie meals during the workday such as salads or lean protein sandwiches on whole grain bread. Meals should be about 500 calories. Don’t fall into habits of fast foods and drive through windows that could easily give you as many as 1500-2000 calories.
- Watch the coffee you choose. Adding cream, sugar and other treats such as caramel, chocolate and whipped cream can pack in the calories quickly. Did you know café coffees can give you 200-300 calories?
There are many new apps and fitness bands that will help you track both your activity level and calorie intake. It might be a good idea and motivating for you to have this concrete information about your own personal intake to help you make the changes you need to keep yourself in the correct energy balance.