Healthy Byte: Work Factors Contributing to the Expanding Waistline

The original article listed 21 ways … I thought I’d highlight the most widely applicable top 10. As usual you can view the original via link at the bottom of the blog. Enjoy!

By the editors of Eat This, Not That!

Is your job literally killing you? With all the ways it can tip the scale, your 9-to-5 lifestyle can do some serious damage to health.

Since starting your current job, have your pants gotten tighter? You’re not alone. Forty-one percent of the U.S. workforce has gained weight since starting their current position, a 2014 survey conducted by the job search website discovered. But get this: Among those who have packed on the pounds, 59 percent gained more than 10 pounds—and 30 percent have added more than 20 pounds to their frame. Although many people say sedentary desk jobs are to blame, there are a number of other reasons your job may make it hard to stay trim. Compare yourself and your routine to the below and then find out 20 Incredible Weight-Loss Tips from a Biggest Loser.

2. You Take Frequent Business Trips

“I’m traveling on business” sounded cool when you were 22 years-old and still skinny. But 10 years later, with an extra layer or two on your body, you now know the truth: Business trips often mean indulgent meals or I’ll-take-what-I-can-get room service and a heck of a lot of sitting and waiting. In fact, 81 percent of business trips are taken in cars, with the travelers more likely to make poor food choices, according to a 2011 Columbia University study. The same research revealed that people who travel for work two week or more each month have higher BMI and higher rates of obesity.

Do This!

Keep a couple healthy snacks—like one of these 27 Healthiest Snacks Under $1—in your purse or satchel so that you’re less likely to overindulge once you get to your long-awaited meal. Squeeze in mini flat-ab workouts when you can, and don’t worry about using up every penny of what you’re allowed to expense.

3. You Arrive Late and Stay Later

When you work later, you also eat later and go to sleep later, both of which lead to unwanted pounds. A study in the journal Nutrition Research found that those whose last meal was closest to bedtime took in more calories during the day. If you typically log late nights at the office, you could be diminishing the quality of your sleep and increasing your odds of weight gain. The blue light emitted from electronic devices like your office computer or iPad could negatively affect sleep quality, according to recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences research. Blue light emissions impair the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making it harder to doze off. When you don’t feel rested, ghrelin–the hunger-stimulating hormone–goes into overdrive, increasing feelings of hunger even when the body isn’t in need of food.

Do This!

Invest in F.lux. Throughout the day the software gradually changes the light emissions from electronic devices from blue to a warm red, a hue that minimizes blue light’s stimulating effects. Also be sure to check out the 30 Things to Do 30 Minutes Before Bed to Lose Weight.

4. Your Coworkers Are Terrible Influencers

We’re not saying you can’t think for yourself, but people do tend to conform to “eating norms” when in social settings, according to a 2014 review study published in theJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. found that people tend to conform to “eating norms” in social settings. Even if you’re not literally eating lunch with a coworker, you still see what they’re chowing down on, where they’re picking up lunch, and what they think is normal.

Do This!

Be the odd man out! Order the tempeh at lunch; bring your overnight oats to work; just say no to another massive salad drenched in a high-calorie dressing and toppings. Seek out the healthy-eating coworker and align yourself with him or her during lunchtime; you two may just start a chain reaction!

6. You Stay Glued to Your Seat

We sit an average of 67 hours a week — that’s nine hours a day sitting, six hours lying down, and only about seven hours out of every 24 spent actually moving. And our sedentary jobs now cause us to burn 100 fewer calories a day than we did 50 years ago. That alone translates to gaining an extra 10 pounds a year.

Do This!

A recent study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that a two-minute walk every hour can offset the effects of too much sitting, one of the 40 Habits That Make You Sick and Fat.

8. You Order Lunch

A study found that just having a lot of take-out options near your work or along your commute to work makes you twice as likely to be obese. Think about that for a moment: Just the mere presence of take-out food increases your risk of obesity.

Do This!

The best thing for you to do is pack your lunches and at least two snacks to make sure you don’t have to go searching for food elsewhere. If you absolutely must order takeout or run out for something, first scope out our fast food survival guide.

9. You Forget to Eat

Chances are that you either inhale a huge meal once you’re finally home and famished, or you just call it a day and live off of what you had. The first situation isn’t hard to see a problem with, but the latter one is dangerous, too. When you eat far too few calories, it can cause your body to lose muscle mass, which slows the rate of your metabolism. Plus, when you skimp on calories, your body slows the rate at which is burns calories because it goes into survival mode—it tries to conserve the fuel it’s got. Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN helps to explain this by saying, “Many people wrongfully believe that eating as few calories as possible is the best solution. Not only can this lead to numerous nutritional deficiencies as the body is getting less food overall, it can actually have the opposite effect on weight loss.”

Do This!

Why not prep a healthy and delicious breakfast or lunch the night before? These 25 Overnight Oats That Boost Your Metabolism will make sure you’re getting the fuel your body needs.

12. You Have Easy Access to a
Vending Machine

As if there aren’t enough reasons you might gain weight throughout your day, a conveniently-placed vending machine full of unhealthy snacks and sodas is a landmine for office employees. Because guess where they go when they’re too busy to pack lunch, run out for a bite, or somehow grab something to calm their hunger? The evil vending machine.

Do This!

Choose either the nuts or trail mix option, which is most likely to have some healthy fats and a little bit of protein to keep hunger at bay. Do not even look at the price of the Famous Amos, Cheetohs, or Diet Coke.

13. You Work In a Toxic Culture

Maybe it’s an over-the-top petty coworker or a boss who micromanages your every move. These little stressors still add up—and not only can stress cause headaches, stomach distress, high blood pressure, chest pain and sleep disturbances, it also causes the body to metabolize food more slowly, according to research published in the journalBiological Psychiatry. To add insult to injury, the types of food we crave when we’re stressed out tend to be fat and sugar-laden treats like doughnuts and chocolate. Researchers say that the combination of high-calorie cravings and a stress-induced snail-paced metabolic rate can result in significant weight gain.

Do This!

To keep your metabolism running strong, plaster a smile on your face and fight stress with some good cheer. Research shows that smiling and laughing causes levels of stress hormones to diminish. Combine that with another effective outlet—a mini workout at lunch, a walk around the block to get a dose of nature, or some yoga stretches—and you’ll keep your stress levels more balanced.

17. You Constantly See Candy and Cupcakes
in Your Office

Whether it’s a candy bowl, a coworker’s birthday, or just a well-meaning gesture from a client or partner company, baked goods and packaged foods are common in some offices. And when you’re stressed, hungry, or just looking for a mood-booster, it can be nearly impossible to turn down the temporary high.

Do This!

Don’t look to see what’s in the candy bowl; split that client cupcake with someone else; make up an excuse that you can’t have birthday cake because you have a headache and sugar makes it worse. Remember that you’re in charge of what goes in your stomach—no one’s forcing these sweet treats down your throat.

20. You Rely on Diet Soda

It’s easy to rely on a diet soda to get over that 2 p.m. slump—and you’re pretty sure your boss has several sodas a day. But a University of Texas Health Science Center study found that adults who drank diet soda experienced a whopping 70 percent increase in weight circumference when compared with non-soda drinkers. Plus, aspartame is shown to raise glucose levels to a point where it’s converted into fat.

Do This!

Drink water! According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinking 17 ounces of water increased the metabolic rate of participants by 30 percent. Add an extra 1.5 liters of water to your workday intake, and you could burn 17,400 calories a year. Bonus: What happens to your body when you give up diet soda is simply amazing.


Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig

Healthy Byte: Forty Pounds to Freedom (Cliff Notes Version)




This was my stats for about 3 years after the birth of my second child. In my mind, this was what moms are suppose to look like, be like. There were no time for anything else but to live & eat this way.

156 lbs BMI: 32.6 [Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater]

Your BMR is: 1319 Calories/Day

Your TDEE is: 1517 Calories/Day

Eating Habits: (actual consumption 3000+)

White or fried rice every day – twice a day (lu & dinner); Pizza & Pasta 2-3 days a week; Chips, Chip & Dip for snack 5 days out of the week; Fast Food: Burgers, Nachos, Burritos, Subs – White bread; High sugary drinks – Starbucks 5-6 times a week – Sometimes twice a day Drink of choice: White Chocolate Mocha – Grande (16 oz), Whole Milk w/Whip Cream (500 calories each), Soda, Lemonade  made w/4 CUPS of sugar in every batch = 3,092 calories per pitcher) 2-3 (8oz) cups everyday is about 386.5 calories each; Lots of fried foods; Beef almost exclusively; Food generally was drowned in gravy or some sort of sauce or condiment ie. ketchup; no veggies; no fruits, no water)

Ate Out: 3-4 times a week

Meal Frequency: Lunch & Dinner only (85% Refined Carbs 5% High Fat Protein 10%Sugar/Fat)

Habit: Ate until I couldn’t move >50% of the time

Activity Level: Zero consistent exercise or physical activity – tried to walk once a or twice a week pushing the kiddos in a stroller in the park … usually last 2-3 weeks then ‘life’ got in the way.




My ‘baby weight’ for about the next 12 years after the birth of my second child. LOL I had tried a series of yo-yo quick fixes to losing weight. Anything from popping diet pills to joining the weight loss group at the gym. Nothing stuck because I wanted immediate results but didn’t want to be bothered with the nitty gritty details like nutrition or consistency or patience – working full time & mother of two, who had time for THAT?! In my mind, this was the price of being a working mother and I had all but made peace with it.

133 lbs BMI: 27.8 [Overweight = 25–29.9]

Your BMR is: 1154 Calories/Day

Your TDEE is: 1327 Calories/Day

Eating Habits: (actual consumption 2000+)

White rice every day for dinner only; Pizza & Pasta 2 days a week; Fast Food: ‘healthier options’ tacos, Burrito bowls, Subs wheat bread; Pork & breaded fish fillets; Limited condiments to ketchup (tomato based = veggie = healthy); snacked every night (ice cream, chocolate) after dinner because I was overall eating ‘healthier’; no veggies; no fruits, some water)

Ate Out: 2-3 times a week

Meal Frequency: Lunch sometimes & HUGE Dinner always (65% Refined Carbs 20% High Fat Protein 15% Sugar/Fat)

Habit: Ate until I was stuffed >50% of the time

Activity Level: No regular exercise or physical activity other than taking kiddos to the park & pushing them on swings about once a week.


2015 8-11 Now


I had surrendered completely to being overweight. After all I wasn’t obese – I can fit into rides at the amusement park. I can play with the kids without being out of breath. I was the average mom size. Even though I couldn’t bare to look at myself in the mirror for any length of time, avoided the camera like the plague, and dreaded clothes shopping, I ate mostly whatever I wanted with total disregard to portion size. It was my miserable-happiness. All was copacetic until I got a new job.

The new employer incentivized employees to get their annual physicals by reducing employee monthly health insurance contribution – for a family of four that was a hefty discount so off I went! My first annual physical since leaving the Army some 14 yrs prior. And boy did I get the shock of my life! My LDL was 115 (should be under 100) and my blood glucose was 101 (70-99 is norm). I was technically pre-diabetic. What a horrifying thought. Having been through training to sell diabetic medication, I saw first hand the complications of type 2 diabetes can do. Amputation, blindness, kidney, nerve, the list goes on and that scared me so bad that I downloaded MFP the very same day of the results and was bound & determined that I was going to give 110% effort in preventing the preventable. My goal was to get healthy!

95 lbs BMI: 19.9 [Normal weight = 18.5–24.9]

Your BMR is: 967 Calories/Day

Your TDEE is: 1498 Calories/Day

Eating Habits: (actual consumption 1100 – 1400)

Pizza no more than once a week; Chicken, Pork, & salmon – nothing breaded; Condiments: Fat free ranch, Fat free miracle whip, House Italian with lots of spices like cayenne pepper, paprika, chilli powder, & garlic for bold flavors; After dinner snack: if I’m hankering for a snack I opt for a toasted whole wheat english muffin w/ PB&J; Veggies with lunch & dinner; Whole Wheat everything; Fruits with breakfast & lunch; Green tea (w/fat free milk & sugar) & water only – No more than 10 calories a day from what I drink is my personal rule) Once or twice a year I have a Short (8 oz) White Chocolate Mocha Skinny (nonfat milk), No whipped cream. 175 calories and because it is a treat I really enjoy savoring it.

Eat Out: 1-2 times a month

Meal Frequency: Small Brkfst (just not a breakfast person), Solid Lunch, Good Size Dinner (75% veggies 24% Lean Protein 1% Condiments)

Habit: Eat until I am no longer hungry >90% of the time

Activity Level: Exercise 6 Days a Week: 30 minutes Cardio & 15-20 minutes Strength Trng

HB Sig