THE BLOG
15/05/2014 11:00 BST | Updated 14/07/2014 06:59 BST

Don't Let Work Make You Fat!

Those who feel off their fitness game point to work as the primary culprit, one study shows. Here's how to keep your job from making you fat.

According to one recent French study, most of us believe that work is somehow at the heart of our fitness issues. That study, which was sponsored in part by France's leading online weight loss and nutritional coaching system, I Love My Diet Coach, demonstrated that a whopping 63% of respondents believe their careers negatively impact their well-being and lifestyle. Fully 50% believe they gained weight after being hired.

According to Maia Baudelaire, a certified nutritionist and the CEO of I Love My Diet Coach, "Bad habits are more rampant [in the office] because employees are scared of losing their jobs, so they stay glued to their chairs in the office."

Consider the numbers: 62% of respondents said they remain seated for 4 to 8 hours per day - a sedentary habit that is a major contributor to weight gain. Insufficient exercise, plus work-related stress can add up on the scale. "Stress contributes to water retention, and can also lead to compulsive eating," Baudelaire points out.

In some cases, eating habits in the workplace should just be overhauled entirely: more than 65% of those surveyed feel their eating habits are unhealthy. Breakfast on the run and fast food lunches do little to satisfy the appetite until dinnertime, which often prompts afternoon snacking. Enter the fatal attraction of the closest vending machine.

So how do you hang onto your job without gaining weight and giving up on fitness? Here, Baudelaire offers a handful of user-friendly tips that add up to a huge difference long-term.

Get Friendly With Your Tupperware! If you cook healthy at home, set some aside for lunch at the office the next day. Add a few chopped veggies and lunch is easy (you'll be amazed how much money you save, too).

Go nuts! Ditch candy bars or other high calorie snacks from the vending machine and keep a stash of dry fruits, almonds, pine nuts, or other nuts handy. Despite their "fat" reputation, nuts contain protein, fibre and essential fats for good health - lots more mileage for the calories.

Go herbal! Herbal teas are guilt-free and there's a staggering variety of them: try red fruits, mint, chamomile.

Don't forget Vitamin B! Vitamin B is essential to transforming food into energy (as well as a multitude of other benefits). You'll find it in whole grains, cereals, and vegetables with green leaves (spinach, asparagus, broccoli, lettuce).

Get moving with friends! Fitness is easier and more fun with your friends. At lunchtime or on the way home, get moving two or three times a week minimum. It's good for body and mind, and makes a great stress management tool. For an easy fitness program that will fit into anyone's week - it was designed especially for women with no time - click here.

Take a walk break. Good concentration is impossible without a little movement. Brainstorm at the park, or take a few laps around the hallways when the weather is bad.

Make contact in person! If you work in a big office, consider walking over to your colleague's desk to give them the information or message, rather than sending an email.

Hit the ground running (or walking). If you live too far from the office to walk home a couple of times a week, take public transport or ride with a friend part of the way, and use your feet to go rest of the way home!

*Study conducted in December 2013 with 1100 members of Viadeo (professional network) and I Love My Diet Coach.