DO your work colleagues often bring in cakes and biscuits to share?
Do you have a little snack drawer under your desk? Do you find yourself drinking a million cups of milky, sugary tea a day because someone's making a round?
For most of us office workers, the answers are yes, yes and yes – so it's no surprise that our work is making us fat.
A recent study conducted by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention found that on average, people consumed 1,300 extra calories from food including pizza, cakes, soft drink and biscuits each week at work.
That's almost like eating an entire extra days' worth of food.
So, how can we curb our work-time snacking?
Well, you might want to first identify what and why you're eating during the day.
Reason 1: You're bored
Solution: Keep low-calorie snacks close to hand
Work can be super boring and nothing fills the aching gap between 9am and 5pm quite like a nice array of tasty snacks.
While it might be hard to do away with boredom grazing, you can change what you graze on.
Keep your desk drawer full of healthy treats like nut butters, chopped veg, fresh fruit or low-calorie fruit bars.
You could also download something like MyFitnessPal which allows you to track what you've eaten.
Once you see how much you're consuming mindlessly on a daily basis, you migth start to double-think whether you really need a digestive with every cup of coffee or not.
Reason 2: There's free food lying around
Solution: Keep snack foods in cupboards or kitchen areas – not on desks
If it's free, it doesn't count – right? Wrong.
Grazing on free grub that's lying around is the reason so many of us are overeating on a daily basis at work.
The solution is to push for communal snacks to be kept out of sight or in kitchen areas, rather than on your desk.
That way, people will have to get up and walk over to get a snack (which might put some off) and you won't just have to reach over for a biccie.
Reason 3: You eat when others eat
Solution: Create your own meals and set times to eat them
It's so tempting to have a snack if the person next to you is having one, let alone the entire office.
But the more you snack, the more your body will start to expect a feeding at odd times.
Try to create your own specific meal times and stick to them. It doesn't have to mean only eating three times a day – it could be that you schedule in times for healthy snacks.
Reason 4: You're thirsty
Solution: Keep a bottle or glass with you to fill up throughout the day
They say that up to 70 per cent of adults are dehydrated.
Not having enough water can make you think that you're hungry when actually, you desperately need to take on more fluid.
We need to be drinking at least two litres of fluid a day, so make sure you're regularly going up to the tap to refill your glass or bottle.
Reason 5: You eat in front of the computer
Solution: Take a proper lunch break
We're all super busy and it's really tempting to eat your lunch at your desk.
But by not concentrating on what you're eating, your stomach takes longer to realise that it's full. In fact, it takes about 20 minutes for the body to register that it's eaten enough – and if you're not tuned in to eating in the first place, that can take a lot longer.
Take your lunch break – it's literally your legal right.
Even better, go for a walk before you have your lunch to get those steps in and then enjoy your meal.
Reason 6: You're eating too much sugar
Solution: Try to cut down on the white stuff
Eating sugary snacks is what brings offices together. The tray bakes. The biscuits. The chocolate boxes.
But all that sugar can send our blood glucose levels soaring – and soon after come crashing down.
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Not only can that leave us feeling tired and flat but it also makes us more hungry.
Rather than nibbling on Hobnobs all day, try to make sure you have whole food snacks on hand – packed with fats and proteins to keep you fuller for longer.
Keep a pot of Greek yoghurt in the fridge, or make sure you've got a jar of nut butter in your drawer to have with some oat cakes.
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HOW TO DO IT: While in a high plank, perform a set of mountain climbers, bringing one knee up to the chest, and then switching (left, right, left, right). Then, jump your feet apart, toward the outside of your mat, and back together four times, like you’re doing a jumping jack on the floor. After performing the plank jacks, complete another set of mountain climbers.
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For those who are overweight and need to slim down there is a lot of information available about the best way for them to do this.
If unsure where to start, it can be reassuring for dieters to look to others who have been through their own weight loss transformations in order to get tips.
One woman shared her weight loss on Reddit after she lost an incredible 7st 9lb in just over a year.
The Reddit user “LDNurseMama” posted online about what she did to try and encourage others to make a similar change.
The woman shared she is 38-years-old, 5ft 9in and has slimmed down from a huge 20st 7lb to a much trimmer 12st 12lb.
She showed off her results by posting a picture of her before and after losing the weight and explained more about the changes she made to get slim.
“LDNurseMama” revealed she kicked off her weight loss journey by watching how many calories she ate and also by making an effort to move more.
She wrote: “I started with just tracking my calories closely with my fitness pal, weighing my food, and being really active.
“Then I went to an actual weight loss clinic to meet with nutritionists and doctors to help me plan for the long term weight loss and maintenance.”
This approach helped the slimmer understand how much she was eating and the best types of food to help her shape up.
The dieter revealed she had always been active so changing up her eating habits was one of the biggest changes for her.
She said: “The food portions were the hardest for me, tracking everything in my fitness pal really put things into perspective for me.
“I weighed my food for awhile too until I had a good grip on what my portions should be. It’s hard but worth it.
By closely tracking her calories using a fitness app, the user explained how it helped her understand what she was eating and her weight started to fall off at a steady rate of around 2lb a week.
Since losing the weight, the Reddit user revealed she does not need to track her food as closely as she understands better what she needs to eat.
“LDNurseMama” revealed: “Now I watch what I eat still, eat healthy foods in smaller portions and stay active.”
Dieters hoping to lose a few pounds can start to do this by making other small changes in their lives.
Research published in a report titled “Portion size me: plate-size induced consumption norms and win-win solutions for reducing food intake and waste” explained using smaller plates at meal times may help people eat less.
This trick can help slimmers learn more about portion control and make an effective change in their lives.
Some people losing weight may have a specific area they hope to burn fat from, such as slimming down the waistline.
According to Cecilia Harris, who is a personal trainer and co-founder of Results with Lucy, you must lose weight from the whole body in order to burn belly fat.
She said: “I don’t believe that you can spot train or lose fat in one particular place of your body.”
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