woman office desk

7 Best Ways to lose weight with a desk job

Lose weight with a desk job

Losing weight with a desk job can be challenging as you find yourself sitting for long hours at a time. Sugar-filled beverages and snacks are also readily available in most offices. You find yourself eating more and more with limited time to exercise and burn off the extra calories. This type of lifestyle makes it very easy to gain weight.


While it might seem difficult, it is possible to lose weight with a desk job. Use strategies such as; making use of the office gym, prioritizing exercise, staying active, and bring in packed food. Also, limit snacking, eat more protein, eat more fiber, and staying hydrated. This is what you need to lose weight even with a desk job. In this post, we share with you how to implement these weight loss tips.


Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

woman not eating snacks

How to lose weight with a desk job

1. Stop snacking.

To lose weight with a desk job, you have to stop snacking. Most office building comes with vending machines giving you easy access to all types of dried and processed snacks. Even though these snacks often come in small packages, they’re very high in added sugars and calories. When you’re trying to lose weight, those trips to the vending machine do add up. Besides, you will find yourself eating not out of hunger but due to boredom. Avoid this temptation by cutting snacks completely.


If your diet consists of the standard 3-meals a day. You will find that there is barely enough time in between meals to feel hungry you can do without snacking. However, if you cannot go without snacking, then pack healthier snacks from home. Some good snack options include fresh fruits such as; apples, blueberries, pears, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, seeds, and edamame.


A 100g snicker bar contains about 488-calories, compare with a 100-g medium apple that comes in at only 52-calories. With the apple, you can have two and not have to worry about your calories.



2. Bring packed food from home.

Weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. When you’re trying to lose weight with a desk job, this rule still applies. You have to be mindful of the types of foods you eat. One good way to do this is to bring packed food and snacks from home. Do not depend on the office cafeteria or restaurant for your meals. These foods are often very high in calories due to excess amounts of oil and sauces used in preparation.


Cook your food and pack some for the next day. With your home-cooked meals, you can reduce the amount of oil used in preparations. This way you don’t have to worry about the excess calories in the fried rice. Some good weight loss foods to include in your diet are; high-protein foods, high-fiber food, and vegetables. Ensure your plate is always filled with these foods to stay full and satisfied throughout the day.

walking from office

3. Aim for 10,000 steps daily.

You’ve probably heard that that adult should aim to take at least 7,000 steps to 10K sites daily. When you’re trying to lose weight with a desk job, this might seem impossible, but it can be done. The goal here is to make small changes throughout the day to increase your step count. Some of the ways you can achieve this is by


  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. This won’t take more than a few minutes but is a great way to get some activity and burn calories as well.


  • Park away from your office building. If possible, don’t park so close to your office building. Aim to spend at least 30-minutes walking to your car. While this is not the most convenient change to make, it is a great way to get some steps in. It might not seem like much but do it both morning and evening that almost 1-hour of light walking achieved daily.


  • If you use public transport, get off earlier. Get off public transport 30-minutes before you get to work and before you reach home. This might involve waking up early to arrive on time but it’s well worth it. Do it before work and after work. You don’t have to walk fast, light walking exercise is enough to start burning calories.


  • Invest in an under-desk elliptical machine. Under-desk ellipticals are a must-have for those trying to lose weight with a desk job. They’re discrete, don’t take up much space yet will help you burn calories. Your coworkers and clients won’t even realize you’re exercising. Besides, you can use it several times throughout the day to get those 10,000 steps in.


  • Cycle to the office. When you’re entering to lose weight with a desk job, you have to get creative to get your workouts done. Another great option is to get yourself an exercise bike. What makes cycling so good for weight loss is that it burns a lot of calories. Even at moderate speed, you can burn as much as 294-calories in 30-minutes.

Girl running at the gym

4. Make use of the office gym.

Does your office come with a  fitness center or a gym? If yes, it’s time to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Create time in your schedule and hit the gym after work. Not only do you have access to top-quality workout equipment but you also have access to the gym for free. It will feel like you’re being paid to work out. What’s more, as the gym is so close to you, you don’t have to worry about wasting time commuting.


An effective weight loss exercise routine should involve both cardio and strength training exercises. Cardio exercises such as running on the treadmill, rowing are great ways to burn calories short-term. With strength training, you don’t burn as much fat at the moment. However, the long-term effects are well worth it as the more muscle you build the more calories you burn even at rest.  If you’ve never used a gym before, be sure to engage a trainer to avoid any injury.


5. Stay hydrated.

Water is one of the most recommended weight loss drinks. It comes with zero-calories, it’s cheap and easily accessible for most people. Besides, most people tend to confuse thirst for hunger as we’re so used to snacking all the time. Next time you feel the urge to reach out for a can of soda, drink some water instead. If you can’t stand the taste of plain water, mix it with some lemon or apple cider vinegar. Better yet, opt for weight loss teas such as green tea, rooibos tea to keep you hydrated.

woman in gym

6. Exercise is non-negotiable.

By exercising, you burn off extra calories. Not only is this great for those trying to lose weight but also for those trying to maintain their weight loss long-term. When you’re trying to lose weight with a desk job, exercise is non-negotiable. You have to create time in your schedule to exercise. Most experts recommend that you aim to exercise for at least 150- 300 minutes every week.


This is about 1-hour of exercise every day of the week except on weekends. If you don’t have a fitness center or a gym available to you, then find other ways to exercise after or before work. A good weight loss exercise routine should include both cardio and weight training. For cardio, use the rowing machine, walking, jogging, swimming are great for burning fat fast. With weight training, the effects are often long-term as you build more muscle.


7. Include high-protein food in all your meal.

When you trying to lose weight with a desk job, you have to eat more high-protein foods. Your diet should include foods such as; eggs, lean cuts of meat, pork, bison, salmon, tuna, and sardines among other protein foods. These high-protein foods are good for weight loss as they keep you full for longer while boosting your metabolism.


Studies have shown that just by starting your day with high-protein foods, you can reduce the number of calories you eat through the day by as much as 441-calories. It is recommended that adults eat at least 46g – 56g of protein every day depending on lifestyle needs. Ensure you’re eating enough protein by including it in all your meals be it breakfast, lunch, or diner.

pea soup in a bowl

8.  Increase your fiber intake.

High-fiber foods such as; kidney beans, black beans, sweet potatoes, artichoke, and prunes are also just as effective for weight loss. These foods slow down the digestion of food keeping you full for longer. You will find that you feel full for hours after a meal with beans or peas. If you’re trying to lose weight with a desk job, your diet should include these high-fiber foods.


Alternate between protein and fiber for lunch and dinner. You will notice your cravings and appetite reduce. It is recommended that adults aim to eat at least 25g – 35 g of fiber daily. Achieve these with small changes to your diet such as; choosing breakfast cereals with high-fiber content. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits such as blackberries, pears, and avocado are all very high in fiber.  For vegetables, enjoy some parsnips, artichoke, broccoli, etc.

Lose weight with a desk job