If you haven’t heard about the negative impacts of leading a sedentary lifestyle, you’re probably one of the few who haven’t. If you don’t know, being inactive causes many serious health issues, including one obvious one, and that is obesity.
Unfortunately, many of us have no choice but to do work that requires us to sit the majority of the time. That makes us prone to weight gain and the inevitable, a bulging belly.
How to Lose Weight if Sedentary
Perhaps you feel it is impossible to lose weight while you sit all day. Well, you may be happy to know you can lose weight if you are sedentary, and here’s how:
Keep Your Body Hydrated
You know that drinking water every day is important to your health, but maybe because you are not active and don’t feel extremely thirsty, you forget to drink water to keep your body hydrated. Or perhaps you only drink water at mealtimes when you feel thirsty. That’s normal but not healthy.
If you’re sitting all day while working, keeping water close is a good idea, but a better idea is to get up from your chair and walk to get a drink. If you forget, set a reminder. Or place an empty glass on your desk, so you are reminded and subconsciously will feel thirsty looking at an empty glass.
Drinking water keeps your body hydrated, makes you feel fuller, and allows your food to be digested properly. It helps you refrain from snacking if you continually sip water. Plus, we often get signals that we’re hungry, when in fact our body craves water. So you may not be hungry at all. You are possibly dehydrated.
Keep Your Environment Cool
If you keep the temperature in your room cooler than feels comfortable, your body will need to use more energy to keep you feeling warm. As a result, you burn stored fats.
Your Choice of Drinks Matter
Avoid reaching for a soda or other sugary beverages whenever you feel a need for a boost. Instead, drink black coffee or tea, which are rich in antioxidants and low in sugar. Ideally, skip the sugar and milk. If you don’t like tea or coffee, that’s ok, drink water instead!
Watch Your Posture and Use Your Muscles
Sitting up straight requires you to use your muscles, which means your body has to work and that equates to using energy by burning blood sugar calories or stored fat. When you try to keep your body upright, it requires extra effort and energy, and you’re engaging your upper body, shoulders, and back muscles.
When your posture is in the correct position it has other benefits too. It makes you feel more comfortable and puts you in a better mood. That means reduced cortisol levels, which is the hormone that induces stress and fat storage.
If you are sitting all day at home, you can also use an exercise ball and swap your chair from time to time. It will help strengthen your core muscles.
If You Need to Snack Make Sure They are Healthy Snacks
If you are stuck at a computer and sitting all day, you are still working, which makes you use energy, and that makes you feel hungry. If you are hungry, eat healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts. Just don’t eat too many. Remember to limit your portions.
Eat Slowly – Fast Eaters May Gain More Weight
Eat slowly by chewing your food carefully and savoring your meal. There are a few websites that discuss the point that fast eaters tend to gain weight more than their slower eating friends.
Therefore, it pays to be more mindful of your eating habits. Make sure you slow down when you eat. That will give your body the time to tell your brain, ‘Hey I feel full, that’s enough food!’
Also, when you need to eat, make sure you move away from your computer or TV, as electronic distractions and advertising can make you overeat.
Do Some ‘Sitting’ Exercises
Sitting all day doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Do a few stretches, which means you burn extra calories. Plus, it will make your muscles more relaxed and help improve blood circulation in your body.
You may also want to consider investing in desk exercise equipment like a desk swing, which makes you engage in low-level movement while working on your computer. If you are sedentary for other reasons, such as your health, and stuck in front of a TV all day, there are plenty of exercise machines that you can use to help you burn energy and lose weight.
Sitting all day is a sedentary behavior that can increase your risk of developing health problems. However, if you know what to do to minimize the effects of sedentary behaviors, you can reduce the risks! So give our above tips a try.
The key is to exert more effort to move your body, which translates to burning more calories. Remember that what you eat and drink, and how you consume your food, affect your metabolism. Choosing healthy snacks and eating mindfully can make you feel fuller with less food, so you can lose weight while sitting all day, and not gain extra weight. That’s a win-win!