Sitting at your desk all day can wreak havoc on your body. Did you know that good cholesterol levels actually decrease 20 percent and your risk of diabetes increases after only a couple hours of sitting? That is why I always recommend that women take many of their business calls standing up. Doing so burns 50 percent more calories than sitting, increases health benefits, and makes you less likely to snack—very important since many office workers take in more calories with snacks than they do at lunch on a daily basis!
To help you make healthier choices at the office, I have created a "Stay Fit Survival Guide" for when your job forces you to sit at a computer all day.
1. Diet soda. Do not be fooled by the "diet" word or the calorie-free label. Diet soda may be linked to weight gain and can make you F-A-T, fat. Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center concluded that people who drank two or more diet sodas a day had larger waist sizes. If you need more convincing, diet soda has also been linked to an increased risk of stroke, and drinking more than one a day may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
2. Baked potato chips. Baked chips means healthy chips right? No! That's like saying diet soda is a healthy beverage. The word "baked" makes consumers believe they are doing something good for their bodies when choosing between chip options. Sure, 1 ounce of baked potato chips may have 14 percent fewer calories and 50 percent less fat than regular chips. However, baked chips are more highly processed than their regular counterpart and contain high levels of the cancer-causing chemical acrylamide, which forms when the potatoes are heated to high temperatures.
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3. Energy shots. There are a great deal of side effects that one must consider when taking energy shots. Just to name a few: nervousness, mood changes, and insomnia. Also concerning is that energy shots are marketed as dietary supplements, yet they do not require FDA approval before hitting the market. I understand that a lot of people need a "boost," but you don't need to take an energy shot to wake up. In fact, one of the best energy enhancers is just water. A hydrated body is an energized body!
Stock Up On
1. Green tea. Swap your 2 p.m. coffee for a caffeinated immunity-booster. One of green tea's myriad of benefits is its cold-busting properties. Canadian researchers added green tea to lab samples of the adenovirus, one of the bugs responsible for colds, and found that it stopped the virus from replicating. All the credit goes to EGCG, a chemical compound found in green tea. So remember, next time you feel a cold coming on, sip a mug of green tea! I also recommend JCORE Zero-Lite, a calorie-free and caffeine-free drink mix, with patented Teavigo® EGCG green tea extract. Human clinical studies show Teavigo® increases metabolism and reduces body fat.
2. Healthy snacks. When you need a quick bite between meals, make it a healthy one. My go-to gluten- and guilt-free snack is a KIND Bar. My favorite: Dark Chocolate Chili Almond.
3. A small mirror. Need a quick and simple way to hold yourself accountable with your meal plan? Place a small mirror at your desk. You might think twice before you toss down a diet soda and chop away at office birthday cake when you see yourself committing a food crime!
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4. A bowl of fruit. Trading flowers for a bowl of green apples and bananas as the centerpiece in your office meeting rooms or on your desk can help you lose weight. Studies found that obese and overweight people who took a whiff of one of these scents before each meal successfully shed pounds due to the scents’ ability to suppress rather than stimulate appetite.
5. A phone sticker. The phone is one of life's biggest sources of stress. To help avoid it, place a small sticker (a yellow dot or something similar) on your phone. This will be your secret reminder to take one deep breath before you answer a call. Not only will you feel better, you'll sound more confident.
6. Gum. Try chewing on a stick of gum to instantly defuse tension. In a recent study, while under moderate stress, gum chewers had salivary cortisol levels that were 12 percent lower than non-chewers. There is a link between high cortisol levels and storage of body fat, particularly visceral abdominal body fat, plus the stress will stimulate your appetite and lead to emotional eating.
7. An orange. This fruit may help you relax. Research has shown that vitamin C can actually help lower the production of stress hormones.