How to burn fat when you’re deskbound
For many of us, being stuck behind a desk at work is non-negotiable. According to a survey conducted by Medibank, office based employees spend around 77% of their working day sitting down. While we know a sedentary lifestyle isn’t great for our health, it doesn’t necessarily mean that our fitness goals are doomed. Personal trainer, holistic nutritionist and author of The Lean Body Coach, Nik Toth, says there are plenty of ways to burn fat and stay in shape… even when we’re deskbound.
Resistance training can increase your metabolic rate long after you’ve finished training. Studies have shown that people who lift weights continue to burn calories for up to 38 hours after their session, burning up to 60 calories per hour post workout. For best results, aim for 3-4 resistance based sessions each week. Train in the mornings, whenever possible, as this will energise you and set you up for a productive, calorie burning day.
- Try resistance training with Bodypass.
Drink more water
You’ve heard it before and I’m here to tell you again. Drink more water! Drinking water not only hydrates your body and helps your system eliminate waste, it also increases your metabolic rate. It’s important to drink around two to three litres per day, so always keep a big bottle of water at your desk. If you want to maximize the benefits, add a slice of lemon or a dash of apple cider vinegar.
Don’t cut carbs
Many weight management programs recommend a low calorie, low carb diet. However, reducing your calorie intake too much can actually slow down your metabolism, causing your weight to plateau.
While a restricted carb intake may initially result in weight loss, in the long term it can damage your metabolism once your body adapts to functioning on a low energy intake. In other words, it will hold onto body fat instead of tapping into its fat stores.
“Don’t cut carbs” doesn’t mean you should stock up on the bad stuff (eg. refined carbohydrates, refined sugar, alcohol, artificial sweeteners and processed foods). Rather, you should incorporate a mix of healthy carbs into your diet such as quinoa, sweet potato, pumpkin, rolled oats, buckwheat and coconut flour.
Increase your Omega 3s
Consuming healthy fats, such as Omega 3s, has many health benefits ranging from a decreased risk of heart disease to improved mood and brain function. It can also help your body burn fat. Increase your intake of Omega 3s by eating oily, fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, trout, herring, sardines and anchovies. If you’re not big on fish you can also get it from flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, soybeans and red peppers.
Tip: if you’re looking for some Omega 3 recipe inspo, check out this delicious, crispy skin salmon dish.
Other helpful tips
- Opt for a standing desk: If standing is an option, you should definitely take it. Sitting all day burns very few calories and many studies have linked it to weight gain. While research is still in the early stages, using a standing desk dramatically increases the amount of calories you burn at work.
- Get up every hour: It’s important for your digestion, your muscles and your mental health to move, so get up and move around every hour. Do a few stretches or walk over to the water bubbler to rehydrate. It doesn’t need to be a long break, but it’s important to that you move as often as possible.
- Train in the morning: Exercising in the morning allows you to boost your metabolism and your energy levels for the rest of the day. Best of all, if you happen to miss your morning workout, you can still fit in a lunchtime or evening session.
- Stretch at night: When you’re deskbound, your hips get tight, your glutes can become weak and your shoulders, neck and back may get sore from hunching. Stretching in the evening can reduce these negative side effects and is also great for your digestion.
- Do as much incidental exercise as possible: Whether it’s taking the stairs instead of the lift or parking further away and walking the extra distance, try to move at every opportunity. Incidental exercise may not produce massive results when it comes to changing your body shape, but it’s a good habit to get into and a great place to start.
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