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Tue, May 8, 2018 | Lifestyle

2 Mistakes Made By Office Workers & How to Avoid Them

You attend the gym on a regular basis but the weighing scales aren’t budging and you don’t feel like you are making progress when you look in the mirror. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, this is something I see on a regular basis amongst office workers. To help reignite your efforts, I’ve written about two of the biggest mistakes I see, and how you can avoid them:

1) Your gym session is not enough to negate a lack of movement during the rest of the day

To lose weight, specifically body fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit, i.e. you take in less energy than you expend over the course of a week. A typical gym session will probably burn between 200-400kcal, depending on what it consists of (resistance training or cardiovascular training). For many people, this means you may not be adding as much to your weekly energy expenditure as you first thought.

This is why NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), or unplanned activity, becomes very important throughout the day.

If you are sitting with little movement for the majority of the day, your daily energy expenditure is likely to be very low (alongside a whole host of negatives associated with sitting for long periods).

However, if you boost your daily activity levels by 200-300kcal per day through low intensity unplanned activity, you will have a massive impact on your energy expenditure across the week.

Building a conscious awareness of this is the first step to improving it. So here are a few things you can do to quickly increase your daily activity;

  • Make yourself aware of your daily activity levels with an app on your phone (a pedometer or a Fitbit)
  • Make a conscious effort to take the stairs over a lift
  • Set yourself a goal of 10,000 steps per day and keep yourself accountable to it
  • Walk to work
  • Get up and walk around for 5 minutes every hour
  • Spend your lunch hour getting out for a walk

It may seem trivial, but incorporating these points in to your daily routine could be the difference between reaching your goal, or not.

2) You live for the weekend

As mentioned above, to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit over the whole week.

In my experience, people are strict throughout the week and, once the weekend arrives, their calorie deficit is ruined by a pizza and a couple of alcoholic drinks. In reality, you need to seek consistency from Monday to Sunday, control what you eat and manipulate the activity you do, or you will struggle to reach your goals.

For example, if you under eat by 200kcal per day throughout the typical working week (resulting in a net deficit of 1000kcal by Friday), but eat a pizza (roughly 800kcal) and three pints (600kcal; roughly 200kcal per pint) you will not only take yourself out of your hard-earned deficit, but you’ve in fact put yourself in to a calorie surplus of +400kcal.

Instead of falling in to this trap, try building a conscious awareness of what you currently consume by tracking your calorie intake and food choices, and observe how your weight fluctuates over a given period. This is the first step to gaining control of your diet, which will ultimately afford you a greater degree of flexibility whilst also being able to reach your goals.

Tom Morgan

Want to find out more? Whether your goals are to lose weight, build muscle or just start leading a more healthy lifestyle, get in touch with Tom and the rest of the Starks Fitness Team and find out how you can start getting fitter today; info@starksfitness.co.uk

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