... and things you can do to avoid it
The desky nature of your job isn't the only thing to blame for the weight you have piled on since you started working. There are a number of reasons why workplaces are making Indians heavier as listed below:
1. YOU WORK LATE INTO THE NIGHT
Some jobs (ad agencies, media houses) have late hours as a pre-requisite while some others need employees to clock in more hours for special projects. Either way, if you are starting your day late and staying back late, you are probably eating close to midnight and sleeping in the wee hours. There needs to be a gap of at least two hours between dinner and bedtime for food to be at least partially digested. The flickering blue lights from the computer screen will hamper your sleep further, making the hormone ghrelin go into overdrive to make you hungry, so you consume more calories.
What to do: Install the software F.lux into your office system. It changes the light emissions from electronic devices from blue to a more pleasant red.
2. YOU HAVE A DESK JOB
Sitting is the new smoking. A viral study last year found that sitting for hours – deskies tend to sit for 67 hours a week, plus six hours a day lying down – is as hazardous as smoking.
What to do: Take a two-minute stroll every hour around the office (better if you step onto the terrace or a park).
3. YOU TAKE FREQUENT BUSINESS TRIPS
Business trips are routine-breakers. Travelling on work means lots of waiting (and snacking), poor food choices and hotel stays where breakfast buffets and room service increase the number of calories you intake.
What to do: Keep healthy snacks in your handbag so you're less prone to overindulge once you get to the business lunch. Carry resistance bands so you can do mini workouts in the hotel room.
4. YOU LUNCH WITH COLLEAGUES
Consider lunch norms in social settings. Eating with colleagues is well and good in the spirit of teamwork and good PR. You're certainly taking in – and getting affected by – what they consider 'chalta hai' in their food choices, and how big their portions are.
What to do: Say no to that homemade fried rice from your colleague's dabba. Soak oats overnight and pack them for lunch. Look for lunch companions who eat healthy and co-ordinate your timings. You might influence others around you!
5. CANDY AND CUPCAKES ARE NEAR AT HAND
Colleague's birthdays, festive celebrations or goodwill gestures from a client are just three reasons for cupcakes, brownies and dessert to become a constant sight at work. Couple this with hunger, stress and boredom, and it's nearly impossible to turn down the sugar rush.
What to do: Make up an excuse about being allergic to candy. Split the gorgeous cupcake with a colleague.
6. YOU ORDER TAKEOUT
That pizza offer looks especially enticing on blah days. The Swiggy, Zomato, Hola Chefs apart, having a lot of takeout options near your workplace makes you twice as likely to be obese says a new study.
What to do: Pack lunch and at least two snacks from home so you aren't tempted to order junk.
7. THE LIFT TAKES YOU AROUND
Taking the lift for every inter-departmental meeting – from the 4th floor to the 8th, back the first and then the top office – gives the feeling of a lot of movement all day when in fact, you are pretty much stationery.
What to do: Take the stairs.
Squeezing in a little bit of activity every hour (and sipping on water all day to stave off munching) will keep your weight in check in the most sedentary of jobs.