First up… confession time.
I am fortunate at the moment to not be working. At least not what I’d call real work anyway. Typing away on the computer a few hours a day. Choosing the number of hours of effort I wish to employ, and at what time of day.
And it’s a good thing too, because work could very well be the reason you’re struggling to establish how to get rid of tummy fat, or at least the cause of an increase in belly fat around your mid section.
How? Well I mentioned previously the best way to lose weight was to avoid hard grind! Working longer hours has been correlated to increases in belly fat. But the number of hours you put in is just the start of the problem. There are a bunch of other bad work habits causing ongoing trouble for your waistline.
Bad Work Habit 1: Commuting
How far is your morning commute? Does it seem like you spend half your life in the car or on the bus? Aside from the boredom and frustration of long distance travel – commuting can be disruptive to attempts to lose belly fat.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine demonstrated an association between length of commute and the size of your belly or mid section. Not only that, lower cardiovascular fitness and greater incidence of high blood pressure was also prevalent.
Over 4000 individuals in Texas were recruited for this particular study - from Dallas Fort Worth and Austin. The results revealed travel of greater than 15 miles (24kms) affected overall health. Exceed this and it could have a significant impact on a your ability to get out for that much needed jog or exercise session. Christine Hoehner from Washington University led the research and suggested that “longer commuting distances may lead to a reduction in overall energy expenditure”.
Bad Work Habit 2: Eating Lunch
OK, it's not actually eating lunch that is a bad habit. I would never advocate skipping meals. In fact in the Belly Fat Formula I am a strong supporter of eating (smaller) meals more frequently to maintain a faster metabolism and consistent energy levels throughout the day.
No, in this case the bad habit is ordering lunch (and dinner as well as it turns out). A study by researchers at Cambridge University tracked over 5000 adults born in Cambridgeshire between 1950 and 1975.
They looked at food consumption, in particular takeaway food, at home, work and during their commute. The finding was that those that live and work near a high number of takeaway food options are more likely to be obese than those less exposed to unhealthy food choices.
Bad Work Habit 3 – Sitting Down
You go to work. Sit down at your desk and stare at the computer screen. Send emails to your colleagues to save walking around the building. After a couple of hours (of sitting) you go and get a coffee. Then it’s back to the desk for more sitting. At the end of the day you’re off to the car to drive home before crashing out on the sofa in front of the TV. You need some relaxation after a long and stressful day.
Sound familiar? You can probably understand why humans are burning so many fewer calories nowadays than a few years back. According to the Washington Post the average office worker now sits for approximately 10 hours per day. That’s longer than we spend asleep. In fact some authors are now referring to sitting as the new smoking.
The AMA or American Medical Association agrees that extended periods of time seated can be bad for personal health. In fact, they have started advocating for organisations to offer alternatives to sitting, such as the odd new craze of standing desks.
How much time do you spend sitting every day? It’s probably more than you realise. If you fancy working out the exact amount of time you spend on your rump - try out this funky little sitting calculator.
Ok, you want to keep your job. Or at least getting a new one isn't an option in the short term. And finding a house closer to work probably isn't high on your agenda either. So how can you start to get rid of stubborn tummy fat with all of these disruptions?
If you are really serious about learning how to get rid of tummy fat then identifying ways to maintain healthy eating habits while at work, and keeping active in and around the office might be a great place to start. What about taking advantage of the long commute we discussed earlier. Let’s investigate these options.
Hit the gym on the way to work
Can you break up your long commute with a session at a gym or health club? There’s probably several gyms you drive past every day en route. It might pay to search your local directory. Don't fret. They will all have a shower and bathroom facilities so you can still look your best when you arrive at the office.
It’s no secret that gym adherence rates are appalling. But one of the key factors in committing to a fitness regime is ensuring it fits into your lifestyle and routine. Selecting a gym that interrupts your commute might invigorate your body and mind, as well as helping with your waistline.
Exercise is important. But just committing to standing more may a good start. Recent research published in the European Heart Journal suggested standing just two hours more per day may have a positive impact on health.
The scientists investigated 782 men and women, capturing the amount of time spent sitting, standing or lying for seven days. Activity trackers and blood tests were utilised. Using the data captured, the researchers estimated how allotted times would impact overall health.
The results were interesting. They concluded that just two hours more standing per day correlated to 2% lower average blood sugar levels and decreased triglyceride levels by over 10%. Cholesterol improvements were also prevalent. Can you think of a way you could increase the time on your feet at work?
Find healthy food outlets…
Or prepare meals beforehand. When tired and hungry it’s easy to make poor food choices. Blood sugar may be low and the part of your brain that regulates impulse control is almost certainly impaired. Planning your meals for the week and preparing food the night before can remove compulsion towards fast food as you drive home. Check out these 15 tips to better meal planning. Try to incorporate some of them into your daily or weekly routine.
Do you think there are changes you could make in or around work that could help with your waistline?