How can you lose weight if you sit on your butt for most of the day?
I'm a computer systems analyst, which means I usually end up sitting on my butt for 8 to 9 hours a day at work. Also, my work commute is 1 hour each way; therefore, that's an additional 2 hours of sitting on my butt.
I leave my apartment at 6am and come back home by 6pm from Monday through Friday each week.
I look at the coworkers around me and most of us are overweight. However, there are 3 people that are slender. My question is...HOW is it possible to lose weight when your job forces you to sit down all day long?
Please share your weight loss tips if you have a desk job yet managed to lose weight.
You can lose weight without exercise. Exercise is mostly for fitness. I sit on my butt at work all day and come home and lie on the couch. But I track my calories and spend my weekends biking, swimming, kayaking, running, etc.
It is absolutely possible to lose weight without moving your butt. I and many others on this board have done it. I only started exercising AFTER losing 55 pounds and reaching my goal weight.
If you exercise moderately a few times per week, you probably "earn" an extra 200 calories per day. Which means that with regular exercise, you might lose nicely on 1,500 calories per day, whereas without exercise you may need to go down to about 1,300. Not a huge difference, really.
Last edited by freelancemomma : 06-10-2012 at 09:07 PM.
I was watching an HBO multipart documentary special that dealt with exactly this. They highlighted a group of people that worked in a call center; the proportion of overweight to slender people was exactly like your situation. They decided to form an at work weight loss support group; they focused on changing out bad desk snacking for healthier snacks, they walked during each of their 2 15-minute breaks, and they walked as a group during their half hour lunch. Some of the people switched out their chairs for a stability ball so that more of their muscles were engaged while sitting. The consensus was, every little bit helps, doing something is better than nothing, and a bunch of little changes adds up. The heaviest woman, who weighed 400 lbs at the beginning of this endeavor, had lost 50 lbs by the time the show aired. Unfortunately I cannot remember the time period in which she lost this weight, but she was on a roll and it was clear she wasn't going to stop losing anytime soon. It was very inspiring.
You just have to eat accordingly, which is the ugly truth. There are lots of normal sized/slender/fit people in my building with desk jobs (a council of nonprofit organizations, I think those sorts of positions generally attract more fitness-oriented people) who all sit around all day.
What others said, it's all about diet! If you eat less than what you burn per day, you WILL lose weight. Exercise is wonderful for fitness and overall health, but is NOT required in order to lose weight.
I also work 8 to 9 hours sitting at a desk and have an hour commute each way. It hasn't hindered my weight loss. Losing weight is much more about your diet than exercise.
That said, I simply exercise after work and on the weekends. If you find exercise you enjoy, it's not so much a chore. I really think that's key. If you'd told me a year ago I'd look forward to it and would feel disappointed when I couldn't I'd have had a good laugh, but that's exactly how it is.
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Last edited by Thistleberry : 06-10-2012 at 10:02 PM.
I lost my weight with a desk job. I'd exercise in the morning or evenings and weekends but definitely adjust food intake. Also, try little things to increase activity like parking further away, going to the bathroom further away, take some walking breaks, climb stairs at work if possible, etc.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
I gained a lot of weight by sitting down all day (although in my case it was due to unemployment rather than a desk job). I've now lost 46lbs, and I'm still sitting down all day. What did it was changing my diet - out with all those sugary and savoury snacks while sitting at the computer, in with structured and healthy meals. I do some exercise too, but it really doesn't affect my weight loss much, if at all. It's the calorie deficit that's making the pounds come off.
Not currently trying to lose, as I'm a bit busy building a baby.
I also work a desk job. I try and workout several times a week, as well as either take a long bike ride after work or ride a stationary exercise bike in my bedroom while I watch movies on my iPad. All the exercise helps to burn excess calories that I just can't shave off my diet, or else I'd be starving all the time and risk binging. It's time away from my wife and kids, but I look at it as an investment. Plus, once I'm at my goal weight I can reduce the amount of exercise, thus increasing the time I spend with my family.
I'm a software developer so I sit all day as well. I try to walk over lunch around the building but that has been inconsistent so I would say I've lost the majority of my weight without exercise. (a fact I'm not necessarily proud of)
It is true what most people here state - that reducing calories leads to weight loss and exercise leads to fitness.
It should be noted though that weight loss without exercise leads to both fat AND muscle loss so it's much better to do both.
Losing weight without exercise is definitely not desirable because you lose muscle as well as fat and end up with higher body fat than someone who did exercise. You also aren't toned.
I'm a network administrator and I sit all day. I have lost 200 pounds with diet and exercise. I schedule exercise just like any other appointment in my life and get in 9-11 hours a week at the gym because it is so important to me. I walk for 30 minutes at lunch time, take the stairs, and park in the last row in the parking lot. Exercise doesn't have to be in big chunks, as little as 10 minutes several times a day works too.
HW 356 pounds - CW 135 - GW 137
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When I was in college and graduate school I managed to lose somewhere around 10lbs and a lot of inches from exercise. I also worked a sedentary job.
Like QuilterInVa, exercise was an appointment I couldn't miss. I couldn't do as much of it between working and going to school full time, but I still did it. I wouldn't miss class or work because I didn't feel like going, so I viewed exercise the same way.
I don't work a sedentary job anymore, but even the job I do now there are overweight and obese people. Having an active job doesn't mean that you're thin and having a sedentary one doesn't mean that you're fat.
You don't have to eat a lot less to lose weight (but you have to eat less). You don't have to move a lot more to lose weight (but you do have to move more).
I've lost weight during extremely sedentary desk jobs (the most being 60 lbs), and even more miraculously, I'm currently losing weight while being at a disability level that makes me far more sendentary than I ever was at any desk job. When I started this current journey, I was virtually bed-ridden and was sleeping up to 20 hours a day (sleeping, not just lying in bed doing nothing).
Low-carb for me is absolutely vital. On high-carb, I have trouble losing weight consistently even when calories are quite low (and I'm hungry all the time on high-carb, and the more I eat, the hungrier I get).
My doctor warned me not to go "too low" when eating low-carb (but admitted he didn't know what was too low, or how to determine it), so I just kept experimenting until I found the carb level that allowed me to lose weight without feeling ill (I've learned from experience that a very low-carb, Atkins induction level of low-carb makes me ill, and it doesn't get better after two weeks as the diet promises, it only gets worse).
Finding the right carb level, I've found gives me a lot more energy, helps reduce fatigue and pain, and controls hunger without making me nauseous (I'm not hungry on extremely low-carb only because the diet makes me feel severely nauseous).
There's no doubt about it, a desk job makes your job harder, but if you experiment with carb and calorie levels, jealously guard your sleep, find a way to relieve stress, you can lose weight (even without exercise - but exercise, even gentle exercise like treading water, really helps with the stress relief so you don't want to cut that out completely).
When I was a probation officer (a desk job with long hours, up to 60, usually at least 50 and a lot of stress), I herniated a disc and was told by my neurologist that the only way I could avoid surgery was weight loss (and even then I might still need surgery). I joined TOPS (taking off pounds sensibly) and Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating (a fresh meal delivery service).
I didn't do the delivery service very long (just the first month), but it got me out of the habit of going to the vending machines and nearby restaurants for meals.
Treading water was my only exercise at first (and I didn't really do it for exercise at first - I did it for pain relief. I didn't tread so much at first as float. The relief to my back was wonderful - I joked to my supervisor that I'd do all my client meetings at the YMCA poolside, if I could have found a way to keep the files from getting wet).
You don't have to be perfect to lose weight, you just have to do better. It may not (and probably won't) yield you rapid weight loss, so you have to stick with the changes even if you only lose one pound a month.
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