How to Lose Weight With a Stressful, Long-Hour Desk Job

Exercise at the office.
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You watch a willowy young woman jog past your office every morning and dream about how you would look if only you had time to go for a run, join a gym or cook healthy meals. Instead, it seems like your weight creeps up with every day you are stuck behind your desk. The good news is that you can lose weight no matter what your circumstances, but it will require a significant change to your lifestyle. Consult your physician before you attempt any exercise or weight-loss program.


    Pack a gym bag with athletic shoes, clothes, toiletries, a towel and a bottle of water and keep it in the trunk of your car. If a client cancels an appointment and you have a free hour, you'll be prepared to hit the gym or go for a run before returning to the office.

    Incorporate exercise into your busy schedule. Take the stairs, go for a walk during lunch and leave your car at the far side of the lot. Keep a pair of free weights under your desk so you can do a few minutes of strength training in between appointments.

    Get up an hour earlier so that you'll have time to exercise. At first the early rising may feel inhuman, but after a few weeks your body will adjust. You don't have to go to the gym. Pop an exercise DVD into the player and work out in your pajamas in the comfort of your own home.

    Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day. If you don't have time for a half-hour workout, take three 10-minute walks instead. You may have to give up your leisurely afternoon cup of coffee, but you should be able to squeeze short exercise intervals into your schedule.


    Drink water or plain, herbal tea. Alcohol, juice, soda, and rich, sugary coffee can add hundreds of calories to your diet everyday.

    Start your day with protein instead of carbs. You may not have time to cook an omelet, but you can throw Greek-style yogurt and berries into the blender for a smoothie on-the-go. A healthy dose of protein will keep you feeling full until lunch.

    Pack nutritious snacks in your purse or briefcase. Sneaking cookies from the break room will make the number on the scale go up, but healthy snacking can help you lose weight. Water-dense items such as celery, carrot sticks and watermelon are good for low-calorie, mindless munching. Nuts and seeds are high calorie, but will give you the feeling of satiety and plenty of healthy fiber. Other portable snack options include string cheese, yogurt, fruit, whole-grain crackers and popcorn.

    Plan for events that might challenge your commitment to good health. For instance, if you know the office is ordering pizza, bring a salad for lunch so that you won't be tempted. If you are too rushed in the morning to pack snacks for the day, make them the night before.

    Let your colleagues know that you are trying to lose weight. Ask them to keep junk food in a desk drawer instead of in the break room. Invite a coworker to join you on lunchtime walks. You may have an easier time slimming down if you have support from those around you.


    • One pound is equivalent to approximately 3,500 calories. Cut out 500 calories per day through a combination of diet and exercise to lose a healthy one pound each week.

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