Real Appeal logo
How It WorksOur MembersOur CoachesThe Spark
Member login

Create a Healthy Workplace

Real Appeal image

Your work environment may be in an office, a hospital, at home, or even in your car. It’s where you spend a significant part of your day and can impact your weight loss and choices.

Have you ever found yourself saying, “I’m so busy at work and I can’t seem to step away from my desk,” or “Someone is always bringing in unhealthy food and I can’t resist!”? If so, we’ve got you covered!

You can transform your work environment to be more suitable for your weight loss goals, no matter what your environment looks like. A few minor changes can go a long way when you’re intentionally improving your work environment to help support your weight loss goals.

Create a healthy workplace

Common challenges in the work environment include high stress, being sedentary, difficulty eating healthy and practicing moderation, and not eating enough.

Destress and stay Zen

Work stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health. How you respond to stress in the moment, along with practicing self-care, can make a positive difference.

Take a breather

  • It can be an alarm that goes off every 2-4 hours to remind you to take 5 minutes for yourself and focus on deep breathing exercises.
  • Deep breathing exercises are proven to reduce stress as your body sends signals to your brain to calm down and relax.
  • Try the 4-7-8 technique: Inhale through your nose for four seconds and hold it for seven seconds; slowly exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. How did it make you feel?

Tone down the to-dos

  • A list full of to-dos can be overwhelming. Write down your top three priorities for the day and highlight what’s most urgent and important.
  • You will likely feel more at ease and be able to accomplish more when you focus on a few things rather than an endless list.
  • Say no to others without feeling guilty. Be realistic and honest with yourself and others about what you can accomplish.

Spice up your space

  • Add plants or other types of nature into your workspace.
  • Examples: Plants such as aloe vera, lavender, and English ivy are known to reduce stress.
  • Place photos and objects that are meaningful to you in sight.
  • Examples: Family photos, certificates, trophies, quotes

Stay active and step it up

Staying active during busy work days can be a realistic goal. It’s easy to forget to move your body when you’re deep into a work project; however, here are a few strategies that can help.

When in doubt, challenge it out

  • A challenge between coworkers can boost motivation by keeping you engaged in your goals and bringing out a fun, competitive side of your personality.
  • Example: A realistic step challenge during the work day, such as hitting 5,000 steps.

Take a stand

  • Harvard Health found standing lowers your risk of obesity and heart disease.
  • It’s best to ease your way into standing to avoid back, leg, and foot pain.
  • Example: Alternate between sitting and standing for the first couple of weeks.
  • If you can’t purchase one, you can create a standing desk using a stable base of books or a wooden box.
  • If a standing desk isn’t possible, aim to stand or walk during meetings and phone calls.

Move and groove

  • Set a timer or make an appointment in your calendar to move each hour
  • Incorporate stretching, stationary lunges, squats, or wall sits
  • Walk to the furthest bathroom or drinking fountain and aim to take the stairs rather than the elevator.
  • If you work from home, enjoy walks around the block or around your home a few times a day.

Practice moderation, not deprivation

Office potlucks, birthdays, celebrations: The events never seem to end! Constant treats or emotional eating can be a reason the scale gets stuck. Moderation ensures you’re able to enjoy the fun with coworkers without overindulging.

Figure out your food plan

  • The best plan to follow is the one that works best for you.
  • Example: If you don’t want to avoid your co-worker’s birthday cake, commit to having three bites.
  • Prepare healthy lunches and snacks for the week if you know there will be celebrations.
  • Keep healthier treats in your drawer at all times; this will come in handy when you get tempted by the office candy bowl.
  • Examples: Dark chocolate, fruit or chocolate oat balls, nut or seed butter and apples

Surround yourself with support

  • It’s easier to follow through with moderation when you have others practicing it as well.
  • Recruit co-workers you can stick with during events in the office.
  • You can also share your goals with virtual coworkers and check in on each other throughout the day.

Follow the Fluid, Fruit, and Treat (FFT) rule

  • Wait 5 minutes in between each step and continue on if you’re still experiencing a craving:
    • First, reach for a drink of water.
    • Grab a piece of fruit
    • Go ahead and have the treat! Don’t forget to measure the portion.
  • You’ll feel satisfied with the water and fruit 9/10 times. Trust the process.

Fuel yourself

No matter how busy you’re at work, there’s always a way to make time to fuel your body. By taking a regular lunch break each day, you can increase your productivity and lessen your stress levels.

Enjoy your breaks

  • Schedule your breaks in the calendar as a reminder and don’t let them go to waste!
  • Mark yourself away during each break and commit to using that time for yourself and nothing else.
  • Use this time to focus on nourishing your body and mind with healthy food.

Maximize your time

  • Pack healthy, easy-to-eat foods if you can’t take consistent lunch breaks.
  • Examples: Bite-sized lean cuts of protein and veggies, baked pita with hummus and veggie sticks, Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and a handful of nuts and seeds
  • Snack on nutritious food throughout the day and remember to track so you know if you’re eating enough.

Your workplace can be a space that supports your health and goals! Use these strategies and see the difference it makes in your weight loss. Remember to schedule your breaks, pack nutritious food, and move your body throughout the day.

Photo credit: Morsa Images/Getty Images