When I originally landed my first salaried job back in 2014, I was beyond thrilled. For the first time in my life, I had a stable income guaranteed to come my way, so long as I continued to do my work.
Being that I was commuting from Long Island to New York City, I swiftly signed up for the nearest gym membership, assuring myself I'd be working out before and maybe even after work. Day in and day out, I'd pack a gym back and commute to my office with it. But most of the time, I'd just leave it at work as I pranced out of the office with co-workers to company-sponsored happy hours and events.
I was freshly 22, working in tech, and I felt like I was living some sort of fantasy life.
Well, the honeymoon phase with work ended quickly when I realized the toll it was having on my body. An ex-track star, I knew I needed to get my ass back into shape. I even knew how to draft up a work-out plan to get there within reason, but I just couldn't find it within me to mosey on over to the gym around the corner to workout.
But, I'm not completely stubborn. I knew I could lose weight and improve my health if I made the right lifestyle changes.
In celebration of my weight loss, I've decided to compile a list of simple ways I lost 20 pounds without working out:
1. Reduce your alcohol intake.
Is it me, or is alcohol not only provided by your employer, but also encouraged to drink as a backward form of team bonding? Working in tech (specifically for startups), this is becoming far too commonplace, especially in an age where six Americans die a day due to alcohol poisoning.
When I decided to shake some of my habits, I made a conscious decision to stop drinking. I knew I wasn't necessarily saving money since the alcohol continued to flow my way on the company dollar, but consuming everything free that came my way was no longer important. My overall health was.
Within a few days of cutting alcohol out of my diet, I noticed my lower abdomen was no longer as bloated as before. This came just in time for summer.
2. Drink lemon water and green tea.
We all know we're supposed to drink more water, but why? Water helps your body recover in many different ways. It can help if you're suffering from cramps during your period, have problematic acne or even if you're just looking to lose a few pounds.
If you find yourself struggling to increase your daily water intake, there's hope. Add lemon or fruit to your water to make an infused drink of your choice. You can also trick yourself into consuming more water by drinking green tea. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and helps you lose weight. This is because green tea contains caffeine, a natural stimulant that is known to aid in burning fat.
I personally have found myself obsessed with lemon mixed into hot water. It's super cheap, simple to prep and easy on the environment.
3. Eat with purpose.
As I started diving further into my habits, I noticed my eating patterns didn't fall in line with the typical breakfast, lunch and dinner eating cycle most of us grow accustomed to.
One day, I sat down and decided to eat on my own terms. I would eat when hungry and stop when I was full. Simple concept, right? In the morning, I'd have a few glasses of water, and when I became hungry, that's when I'd have breakfast. Instead of eating at noon because all of my co-workers were going out together, I'd wait until 3 pm when I was actually hungry. I noticed my energy levels increased along with my metabolism.
4. Walk everywhere you can.
And when that's not feasible, take public transportation and bike to work. Most cities have a convenient and cost-effective public transportation system in place. I've taken buses in the outskirts of Cleveland, Omaha, and even Los Angeles.
We've become blinded by the idea we need our car at all times, and we've written off all other options. Take a look at your daily commute to work, opt to take public transportation or bike a few days a week. It'll keep you active, make you aware of your town and what it has to offer and even get you exercising more.
Keep in mind that you don't have to sit the entire time. Stand up and stretch those legs. Some companies even reimburse employees for taking public transit, so this will not only benefits your waist, but also your wallet.
By making small adjustments to your lifestyle while at work, you'll quickly develop your own healthy workplace habits.