Dieting tips for those who work

The time constraints of being a working woman or man and the confinement to a workplace for a definitive period everyday may look too formidable for someone who is overweight to even think of going on a diet and exercise plan.

I have had several career people voicing their concerns about managing eating at their workplace while trying to fit in an exercise schedule after a hectic day
at work.

Yes indeed it is difficult but certainly not impossible.

Since people have different office hours in various fields of work, I can only summarise in general and hope these tips will give the reader a base to kick start his or her diet at work.

The two most important factors that will influence your dieting are the time and quality of food you eat at your work place.

Some of the common habits that may affect hunger and therefore lead to over eating are given  below. If you can learn to deal with these then you are on the right path to losing your weight at work.

Eating too early in the day will make you hungry by evening and you may want to eat a heavy snack after reaching home from work. Eating a small breakfast or none at all also leads to hunger in the afternoons, making you want to snack heavily or eat a heavy dinner both of which will add excess kilos. Leaving a gap of more than 6 hours between meals will cause overeating in the succeeding meals.

If your workplace becomes a reason for eating in groups and sharing food, then you may tend to go beyond your quota of calories at meal time.

Workplaces also are temptations for celebrating a bonus or an employee’s personal event thus creating further situations of overeating.

Inadequately planned meals leave you packing up just about anything to take to your workplace to eat.

How to tackle these problems?

Eat a good breakfast just before you leave for work. It should have all the ingredients that will satisfy your hunger – high in proteins, good amounts of carbohydrates, fibre and a little fat. I would say any of the high fibre traditional or regional breakfasts will qualify as good to have like the ones mentioned in the articles ‘Best breakfasts from the South’ or ‘5 super carbs’.

Next, pack a healthy light lunch. It could be rotis or rice. Try to keep as close to your home food as possible when you pack a lunch. This is psychological as several people eat sandwiches for lunch and come home to have their traditional rice for dinner just because rice was not eaten that day!! So if you want your daily ration of rice better eat it at work and certainly not at dinner.

Pack a fruit, some salad items (prepared or whole like a carrot or cucumber) and some buttermilk or lassi if you feel you need an extra snack between long gaps of meal times. Any fruit that is easy to eat is fine, like apple, guava, pears, banana or orange (peeled, segmented from home). Eat the edible peels and seeds. Gulp down a lot of water after this.

Parvathy R Krishnan
The author is a trained Nutrition & Dietetics expert with over 20 years’ of experience in hospitals like Vijaya Hospital in Chennai and the Armed Forces Hospital and New Mowasat Hospitals in Kuwait. She is presently a member of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India. Parvathy blogs at

More by this author:
How to reduce cholesterol in the Indian diet
What do you eat to manage diabetes?


Image: Wikimedia Commons



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