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This Month In Body
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  • Big Occupational Hazards
    Maybe you sit all day at a desk or perhaps you work at a bakery surrounded by donuts and pastries. But there are a lot of other reasons your occupation contributes to weight gain. Here are a few to take into consideration. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Big Occupational Hazards

Is your job making you fat?

While you’re responsible for your diet and exercise habits, there may be other factors playing into your weight control problems. You may not realize it, but your job may be partly to blame. A big reason for weight gain on the job could be the very nature of your job. Maybe you sit all day at a desk or perhaps you work at a bakery surrounded by donuts and pastries. But there are a lot of other reasons your occupation contributes to weight gain.

Here are a few to take into consideration.

Eating Out

Getting in the habit of eating take out, at restaurants, or fast food for lunch is a recipe for weight gain. High in calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats, foods at most eating establishments are far from diet-friendly.

Rather than eating out or ordering in, make it your routine to bring a sack lunch. Preparing your own food allows you to control portion sizes and guards you from unhealthy menu options.

Work Too Much

You may not call yourself a workaholic, but lately you’ve been putting in extra hours at work. Going in early and staying late could mean you’re skimping on sleep. Research shows a lack of sleep leads to a boost in the hormones that increase hunger and a decrease in the hormones that tell you when you feel full. The result: weight gain.

If possible, work a reasonable number of hours that allow you to get enough quality sleep.

Frequent Business Travel

You may get to see new places and meet new people, but one of the downsides to business trips is the risk for weight gain. Eating out, room service, travel, and sitting around all contribute put you on the fast track to obesity.

Protect yourself from the risk by exercising in your hotel fitness room and choosing healthy menu selections.

High Levels of Stress

It’s no wonder you’re stressed from long hours, a long commute, work deadlines, and projects. When you get home, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising so you sit on the couch all evening and fill your belly with comfort foods. Unmanaged, chronic stress isn’t just bad for your heart. It’s bad for your waistline, too.

Learn to incorporate healthy ways of managing stress into your daily life. Go for a walk, take a hot bath, or go out with a friend. Whatever you do, don’t let stress win and your waistline and good health lose.

Night Shift

Studies show that you’re more likely to gain weight if you work the night shift as opposed to working during the day. One reason is that you burn fewer calories when you work at night because your internal clock is thrown off and your metabolism slows down. Second, when you’re tired you tend to reach for snacks more often to keep your energy level up. In addition, if you’re not getting enough sleep during the day, your appetite hormones make you hungrier all the time.

Work night shift? Cut a few calories from your diet and arrange your schedule so you can get a solid seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep during the day.

Surrounded by Junk Food

A vending machine down the hall, cake for a co-worker’s birthday, and donuts in the break room—it’s no wonder your waistline is growing. Junk food is especially tempting when you’re stressed, tired, or hungry from skipping breakfast.

Plan ahead and keep a stash of healthy snacks in your desk. Skip the chips, cookies, and sodas and go for fruit, veggie sticks, or mixed nuts.