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50 Easy Ways to Lose Weight While You’re at Work

Losing weight is generally a goal we’ve all had at one point or another, but with busy work schedules, or busy studying schedules for those completing a traditional or online degree program, plus family commitments and social events, diets and fitness plans just don’t seem to fit in. But with these tools and tips for creative, cutting-edge weight loss, you have no excuse not to drop pounds during the work day, or even a day at home.

Desk Exercises

Tone up and burn a few extra calories at work by doing these exercises at your desk.

  1. 60-Second Aerobics: Try out this quick aerobics exercise you can do if you have your own office, or if you don’t mind weird looks from co-workers.
  2. Office Exercise: View these office exercises that can help with stretching, balance and muscle-toning.
  3. Five Quick Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk: Learn how to do side stretches, arm raises and other exercises at your desk.
  4. Desk Yoga: This yoga exercise lets you stay in your desk chair.
  5. Ten Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk: The Pump and Run, Hammy Pulling, and Disco Fever will help you stay limber and toned at work.
  6. 20 Simple At-Your-Desk Exercises for Web Workers: These exercises will give you a glutes workout, relieve tension, tone thighs and more.
  7. The Wooden Leg: Tone your legs with this exercise.
  8. Desk Exercises to Boost Your Energy: Loosen up and prepare for an after-work run or aerobics class by doing the "yes-sir" or the "feel the floor."
  9. The Magic Carpet Ride: Work on your abs by doing The Magic Carpet Ride.
  10. Work It Girl: At Your Desk Abs: Practice this Pilates move at your desk to master the art of exercise and work multitasking.

Healthy Snacking

Keep your home desk and the office refrigerator stocked with healthy snacks that will help you curb cravings and avoid temptations at the vending machine and office parties.

  1. Almonds: Keep a plastic bag with a handful of almonds in your desk for a yummy snack you can graze on all day. Almonds are full of protein and the good kind of fat, so they’ll keep you satisfied longer.
  2. Yogurt: If your office has a refrigerator, bring yogurt to work. This snack is believed to "rev up your body’s fat-burning engines, speed weight loss, and trim your tummy, according to a new study," reports WebMD.
  3. Slow-release snack foods: These foods–like avocados, salad vegetables and cheese–prevent quick sugar highs and sudden crashes, so they’re good for keeping you full and energetic during long working hours.
  4. Peanut butter: Unless peanut butter is a serious snacking weakness for you, keep a jar in your desk to spread over a graham cracker or English muffin. Peanut butter contains the good kind of fat and will keep you full much longer than junk food. Just be careful to use only a small amount to avoid packing on extra calories.
  5. Apple slices and low-fat cheese: Fitness Magazine recommends apple slices and low-fat cheese because it’s a snack "packed with fiber, water and antioxidants" that also keeps you full longer because of the cheese.
  6. Tea: Get your caffeine boost from tea, which has antioxidants and helps you balance water weight.
  7. Low-calorie cereal bars: Try to pick cereal bars that are lower in calories and rich in fiber, rather than ones loaded with chocolate and sodium.

Social Media and Community Support

Get support for your diet right from your desk when you log on to one of these community sites for weight loss and health care. You’ll find inspiration and motivation, diet tools and journals, and recipe ideas that will give you something healthy to look forward to when you get home.

  1. Traineo: It’s easy to get inspired to eat right, lose weight and work out when you join the community and use the tools on Traineo.
  2. WeightWatchers: Get support for your WeightWatchers diet anytime from anywhere with their online tool set, recipe database and community.
  3. DietWatch: On this site, you can choose your own personalized diet plans, track your diet progress and learn about healthy snacking.
  4. eDiets: Learn all about healthy, smart eating, online diet plans, meal delivery plans and more. Join groups to learn how others are losing weight and get inspired even when you’ve got the munchies at work.
  5. Weight Loss Wars: Compete to see who can lose the most weight by tracking your progress online.
  6. FatSecret: Set up a profile and join groups to learn about different diets and recipes. You can also record your progress and food history in an online journal.
  7. The Biggest Loser League: When you need a little extra inspiration during a work party or happy hour planning meeting, head to this site for motivation.
  8. DietTV: Play games, network and learn about dieting here.
  9. iStats: Document all your fitness and diet stats on this site, which lets you join teams and learn about new exercises.
  10. SparkPeople: On SparkPeople, you can chat with dietitians and other dieters, keep a food journal, get a personalized diet and fitness plan, and access other helpful tools.
  11. Wellsphere: Discover healthy eating plans and the keys to a healthy lifestyle on this community site.
  12. The Daily Plate: Find the time to organize your diet and meal plans online with The Daily Plate.
  13. Comotivate: Find other dieters to link up with through this buddy system.

Calculators and Tools

Before ordering lunch into the office, find out how many calories are packed into your favorite fast food meal. Here you’ll find health care calculators and tools for discovering what you’re really putting into your body and how you can turn your diet around.

  1. FitDay: Refer to this journal to track your diet plans and weight loss progress even when you’re at work.
  2. The Calorie Counter: Calculate your daily caloric intake of fast foods, fruit, beef products and any other type of food here.
  3. Calorie King: This website has healthy recipes and tools to help you lose weight, plus a searchable food database that has nutrition information and calorie counts for meals and individual foods.
  4. Nutrition Data: Look up nutrition information, calculate your BMI, track your weight loss progress, analyze recipes and get information on living with diabetes on this site.
  5. Chowbaby Fast Food Calories: Chowbaby presents calorie information for meals from popular chains like KFC, Wendy’s, P.F. Chang’s, Domino’s, Carvel Ice Cream, Boston Market, White Castle and more.
  6. Calories Burned Calculator: Find out how many calories you burn writing, standing, studying and driving.
  7. ActiveTrainer: Find sports and fitness training plans that fit with your needs, interests and lifestyle.
  8. Diabetes Risk Calculator: Take this test at work for an instant motivator whenever you’re feeling like having an unhealthy snack.
  9. Weight Loss Calculator: This calculator tells you how long it will take you to reach your goal weight.
  10. Ideal Body Weight: Use this tool to calculate your ideal body weight.

Curbing Your Cravings

These tips will help keep your mind off cravings that tempt you with junk food, chocolate and unnecessary grazing.

  1. Snack: Snacking might seem counterproductive when you’re trying to lose weight, but keeping your body fueled up and energized with the right kind of foods will prevent overindulging later.
  2. Get up and move around: This study explains that a quick walk can kill your craving for chocolate. Take your mind off your cravings by taking a quick walk around the block or downstairs.
  3. Get enough sleep: When you’re stressed, sad or tired, your body tends to crave sugars and carbohydrates as a pick-me-up. Try to get enough sleep to get on a regular eating schedule too.
  4. Have break-room alternatives: Keep your own stash of healthy snacks handy to defend yourself and your cravings against office parties and catering. 

Sneaking in Workouts

Besides the desk exercises, it is possible to work out during your busy day, depending on your job. Check out these tips for sneaking in exercise at work.

  1. Ride your bike to work: If you live within a reasonable distance of work, ride your bike or walk to work for added exercise.
  2. Volunteer to run extra errands: When it’s the intern’s day off, volunteer for the coffee run next door or to message mail to the upstairs office.
  3. Take the stairs: Even if your office is on the 20th floor, you can take the stairs at least part of the way. Train yourself to do one extra flight per week.
  4. Exercise on your lunch break: If your gym has a shower or you have time to go home during your lunch break, do a quick yoga or cardio workout to boost your energy and mood in the afternoon and burn off extra calories.
  5. Get a workout buddy: Instead of only hanging out with your happy hour buddies, grab a workout buddy that holds you accountable for after-work gym dates.
  6. Be disciplined: Have a specific goal in mind and an endpoint in mind. Being organized and disciplined will help you stick to your weight loss plan even when others are chowing down and eating out.

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