Everyone falls short of the glory of Jean Claude Van Damme’s abs from time to time (check out my photo tab if you’d like some visuals of my own shortcomings). The hard part isn’t veering from the straight and narrow path; the hard part is, however, taking the necessary strides to counter the mistakes we make along the way. This post will assume that each of us went Quesadilla Loco* for lunch and will offer a few in-office solutions to battle back against the burrito bulge.
*Quesadilla Loco can be substituted for any of the following luncheon landmines: Zaxby’s Zalad Grease Ballad, Artichoke Dip Artery Stint or my personal arch nemesis, the Turkey Club Flub
It sounds totally rudimentary, but some of us completely forget that simply moving around with even the slightest regularity offers a tremendous boost to our metabolism. And since we’ve already established that this particular day will be an excess of post-lunch goopity gunk kind of day, a boost in metabolic activity is in high demand. Science offers us a really complicated title for this phenomenon: non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT for those that don’t already have enough acronyms for the day. NEAT ranges from the energy expended walking to work or typing to the calories burned performing yard work, gardening and/or fidgeting. The good news is that even trivial physical activities, such as the ones highlighted below, increase your metabolic rate substantially and join together with other bodily processes to culminate in a daily NEAT value – yes, this is in fact very neat.
Realistic For All:
* Water break – this is self-explanatory, but just in case you don’t know I will help you out. Your body and metabolism need water anyway, so go drink some so your kidneys stop hating you. Turn this into a regular task to help boost your NEAT in several ways, e.g., increased walking / increased hydration, and it will make you go pee more often, resulting in even more walking. That’s work synergy.
Realistic For Most:
Start to venture away from the norm.
* Take your calls while standing – the average person burns 40-50 more calories an hour by standing instead of sitting. If you speak on the phone for two hours a day, which isn’t an exaggeration for anyone in customer service or internal sales, this amounts to roughly 200 extra calories you’ve burned by using your God-given right as a biped.
* Walking meetings – so if you’re trying to show someone your newly designed INDEX MATCH function this is not only impractical, it is dangerous. Walking while Exceling is a big no-go. But if you’re like 85% of “meeters” in the corporate world, the bullshit you’re talking about around a table can just as easily be bullshat about walking up or down the hall. The difference between sitting for an hour versus walking = 190 calories.
You’re a total badass.
* Take a gym break – I told you it was ambitious. Before you flip your keyboard in anger just hear me out. Your office is probably no more than seven minutes from a gym. You can drive there, do thirty minutes of whatever the hell you want except for sit, shower and drive back to the labor lair in under an hour. Your employer might be so confused by your alien forms of recreation that they commend you.
* Enjoy your job – this is the most abstract one of all, and I saved it for last for two reasons: 1.) If you’ve stuck around this long you will probably hear me out, and 2.) this is easily the hardest of them all to do. If you actually enjoy your job then you will do what’s necessary to maintain or improve your skills for doing that job. There are more studies than I have hairs in support of the fact that even semi-regular physical activity increases blood flow, brain activity, ideation and creativity. Enjoying your gig will serve as a motivator in and of itself to help will you to fight back, either mentally or physically, against the dreaded metabolic shutdown caused by your lunch.