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Updated: June 9, 2010 16:49 IST

Working out at work

GAURI SHAH
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Stay fit even while you are working hard. Photo: Special Arrangement
Special Arrangements Stay fit even while you are working hard. Photo: Special Arrangement

Tips on how to stay fit even while you are putting in long hours at the office.

How it all starts: You're fresh out of your MBA/Masters and, having spent the last couple of years cramming, you just can't wait to get started. Professional life begins and you immerse yourself completely in work; all for an early promotion and a big, fat raise. But look into the mirror and, instead of a bright svelte youngster, you'll probably see an overweight person in just six months!

The Grind: Trying to prove our capabilities makes us put ourselves on the back burner the moment we step into work mode. Puja Shinde, Lead Project Manager at Tech Mahindra, narrates how her progress at work reflected on her weighing scale. “Working harder meant 12-hour work days that left me no time for anything else, especially myself. Getting back home at odd hours took away the motivation to go to the gym. Even those early morning walks made way for a few extra winks. Initially I tried carrying salads and healthy munchies, but a gruelling day sucks all the energy out of you. The least I could do was eat something yummy. So, celery sticks were replaced by vada pav and carrot juice with coke. Before I knew it I had put on so much weight, none of my clothes fit!”

Love Handles: When you spend most of your waking hours at office, where do you have time to spare for any sort of workout? Ketan Dossa, Head of Internal Communications at a reputed BPO, actually managed to lose weight by making some lifestyle changes. “After a few months at my new job, I started falling ill frequently. I realised I needed to make some major changes. First I eliminated all fried food and sweets. I vowed to stick to basic home-cooked food (except Sundays!). But diet was only part of it. I made an extra effort to take out an hour to workout either before or after work at least five days a week. I chose a gym next to my place instead of a fancy one far away. My weight wouldn't budge initially and I almost gave my regime up, but thanks to my wife who kept at me I gradually ended up losing about 10 kg in six months. I have never felt better!”

Watch what you put into your mouth: That's what Sonal Purandare-Gutta, nutritionist advises. “Those in sedentary jobs should get up, stretch and take a small walk around or outside the office every couple of hours. Breakfast should be the largest meal and meal portions should reduce every time with dinner being the lightest. Eat a tiny portion every two hours: fruit, nuts or even high-fibre biscuits. Eating something often keeps your body from feeling hungry; hence not storing fat. Avoid snacks like chips, batata wada and bhaji at all cost; carry food from home instead. Don't skip meals as it will instantly slow down your metabolism. Have larger portions of dal and vegetables with your roti/rice and preferably replace all white carbohydrates like rice, bread and sugar with browns.”

Fashionista: So you have put on the odd kilo and you know you just can't manage to work it out at the moment. Just make use of fashion to create an illusion of a slimmer you.

First, learn to get comfortable in your skin and appreciate your body. At work, especially in our weather, stick to fabrics that let you breathe and fall straight like linen. Wear low waist trousers and skirts to break the view of the butt if you have large hips.

Stick to colours like black, navy, grey, emerald green for a slimming effect and experiment with checks and stripes with the full-sleeved jackets to take care of flabby arms.

Formal doesn't always mean drabbing up. Someone on the heavier side could team black linen trousers with a pale pink shirt, leave the top two buttons open and tie a bright knotted scarf around your neck for a formal yet chic work look. The black linen hides your hips; a shirt takes care of your paunch and unbuttoning the neck makes the bust appear smaller while the scarf hides your cleavage! Take care to wear heels (kitten heels for those who can't manage pumps) to make you appear taller, adding height is the best way to look thinner. For those who prefer an Indian touch, saris are superb; they camouflage your flab and let you flaunt whatever else you want!

Counting calories

Climbing up 10 floors: 120 calories

Climbing down 10 floors: 50 calories

10 min walk around the office: 80 calories

Coffee break standing and talking: 100 calories

Walk while you talk (5 min on the phone): 110 calories

1 samosa: 256 calories

20 chips: 110 calories

1 green tea: 15 calories

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