Is your office making you fat?

With summer just around the corner, our thoughts often turn to our weight.

The prospect of exposing ourselves in shorts or sleeveless dresses – not to mention swimming costumes – can cause us to evaluate our diet and exercise regime.

A recent study has found that women consume up to an additional 100,000 calories per year at work! So, it’s not just about having a sedentary job, but all those additional sneaky snacks that we don’t realize we are consuming. Just to put it in perspective, 100,000 calories is around 384 Mars Bars or 1052 glasses of champagne. That’s more than one Mars Bar and two glasses of Champagne A DAY. A day people!

So where do all these clandestine calories come from?

Milky Coffee. A quick fix on the way to work. Then a co-worker is doing a coffee run. One more won’t hurt. Client lunch. It would be rude not to stay for coffee. Before you know it you’ve had three lattes before you head home. A small cup of coffee can be between 80-100 calories. You do the math. That’s almost a meal.
Biscuits. We’ve all done it. You make a coffee or tea, are about to wander back to your desk, and suddenly a biscuit jumps out of that tuppeware container on the bench and into your hand. Sometimes they even work in pairs. You don’t really want them. You’re not really hungry. You are not even that fond of Monte Carlos. But there they are in your hand. And lunch is a long way off. You might even have to work through. And you are feeling a bit lacking in energy. A quick sugar fix will give you the energy to get through the morning. Right?
Cake – depending on the size of your office, there can be a cake just about every week. And it’s never just a plain old butter cake. The popularity of the birthday-ee is in direct proportion to the amount of ganache, cream, grated chocolate and decorative macarons on their birthday cake. And to say no would suggest you don’t like said birthday-ee as much as everyone else does. Right?
Chocolate – the ever-present fundraising opportunities. Everyone’s children’s school, scout group or sports team needs to raise funds. Worthy causes all. Enough said.
Dried Fruit & Nut – ah, the healthy alternative. Just graze on this. And it is healthy. Well, healthier than the biscuits. But it’s also high in calories. And when you graze, you really lose track of how much you are consuming.


So, what should you do about all these extra calories making their surreptitious way into your otherwise healthy diet?

Try and make the move away from milky coffee. Try and replace it with black or herbal tea. You can mix it up a bit with the flavours – black tea in the morning for a quick caffeine hit, green tea after lunch to help with digestion and a peppermint tea in the afternoon as a pick-me-up. Even if you replace two of the three coffees you have during the day it’s worthwhile.
Arrange for the biscuit tin to be out of sight – in a cupboard or a container that you can’t see the biscuits. And be alert and aware to their siren call. A quick exit from the kitchen is always a good exit.
Make a suggestion that birthdays are celebrated in group style once a month, so you limit your exposure. If that doesn’t work, when you know someone is going to be having a birthday, try and be out of the office at cake time. A nice card will go a long way to ensuring that birthday-ee is not offended.
Fundraising chocolate can become a simple donation. If the seller insists you take the chocolate, put it in the kitchen with a “help yourselves” note – your co-workers will love you and so will that cute shift dress you can’t quite fit into.
Stick to fresh fruit for snacking, and rather than graze on a bit tub/bag of nuts, work with a portion control system. One small container of nuts and a piece of fruit for the day and when it’s gone – no more.


If you can implement some of these changes you’ll be amazed how much easier it is to lose those extra winter kilos. Combine it with some in-office exercising – see our blog You Might Not Want to Take this Sitting Down and you will be ready for summer in no time.

If you would like more information on weight loss, or would like to talk about additional strategies, call our Baulkham Hills Clinic on (02) 9639 7337 and make an appointment to see our Nutritionist & Dietitian, our Traditional Chinese Medicine specialist or our Chiropractor, who can all help you with diet and exercise.

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