Saturday, July 5, 2008

Don't Get Fat on The Job

Eating Sensibily Can Help You Work Better And Stay Healthy

A national law that came into effect in April 2008 in Japan requires companies and local governments to measure the waistlines of people between the ages of 40 and 70 as part of their annual checkups. From 2013, companies that do not shape up will have to increase their financial contributions to government-run health-care insurance schemes.

The campaign to measure waistlines came about a few years ago when Japan's health ministry sounded the alarm about metabolic syndrome - a collection of factors such as abdominal obesity, high-blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose and cholestrol which can increase the risk of illness such as diabetes or hypertension if left unchecked.

Some Japanese companies handed out pedomters to employees to help them stay trim. They also introduced low-calorie meals in the staff cafeteria, sponsored nutrition education and offered exercise classes to help their employees shape up.

Keep the Weight off at Work

While there are no waistline measuring national campaigns in the United States for working adults, you too should start making adjustments to your diet and lifestyle to limit weight gain during your working life. Your best bet is to hit the gym regularly before or after work, during the weekdays or weekends.

However, if you cannot find time for the gym, here are some other things you can do.

Eat Real Food

Snacks like potato chips and cokies do not count as breakfast. A hearty but healthy breakfast with plenty of protein and fibre will keep you full and working strong until lunchtime. Opt for fresh foods instead of processed foods whenever possible to cut down on unneccesary added sugar and salt.

Keep a Food Diary

You may not think twice about dipping your hand into your colleague's pack of chips. Or you may not recall eating the chocolate bar because you were hungry not having had a proper breakfast. The propensity to snack while working increases when you have not had a proper meal. To avoid this, keep a record of what you are eating throughout the day, and you will be able to pinpoint areas for improvment.

Walking the Extra Steps

One of the easiest ways to stay fit is to opt for old-fashioned foot power over technology or convenience - that is, leave your car at home when you can! Walk to the grocery store instead of driving to it. And when you drive to work, you should park your car at the furthest parking spot, and walk to your office. Take the stairs instead of the lift.

Healthy Snacks

We all need a pick-me-up at some point of the working day. So if you have to snack while you're at the office, be kind to yourself and stock up on the healthy snacks such as trail mixes, raisins, nuts (unsalted or low sodium, if possible). If you like chocolate, eat bitter chocolate which is made with less sugar.

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