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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I manage my obesity at work?

    I am trying really hard to lose weight but I feel like my workplace is undermining my ability. How do I eat healthy foods when I am out of the house? Any tips?
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  • Lisa Renn


    Lisa is an APD with 12 years experience, specialising in helping people identify and change habits that impact negatively on their health. Inspiring change, Lisa … View Profile

    Hi there,
    it can be really tricky at work to eat well if there are biscuits and lollies around the place or if you have to go to work lunches.

    The key is to be prepared with your own snacks and lunch from home. If you have enough healthy options then when you get hungry you have a healthy option on hand rather than raiding the biscuit jar in desperation.

    Some healthy snack ideas for work: tub of yoghurt, 30grams of nuts in a small container, wholegrain dry biscuit with topping, piece of fruit, milk coffee/glass of milk.

    Taking your own lunch is key as most often the food we buy out of the house is higher in calories even if it is a healthy lunch choice.

    Starting the day with a good breakfast is really important. If you skip breakfast you are more likely to be hungry and grab the high fat snacks on offer at work around mid morning.

    Overall the key is to be prepared enough to get your lunch and snacks ready for work either the night before or on the morning. This has implications for your shopping too as you will need to ensure you have the food in the house!

    An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can help you put all this together if you are struggling.

    Good Luck!

  • My name is Pamela Holdsworth and I have been a DIETITIAN in private practice since 1990 while also teaching at Southbank TAFE for 14 years. … View Profile

    Workplaces can often sabotage your weightloss attempt.  Be prepared….eg if your workplace often has morning teas or meets for after work activities….BRING YOUR OWN HEALTHY FRUIT OR VEGGIE STICKS AND LOW FAT DIP PLATTER to share.  Make or prepare something you genuinely like to eat…..then you won't be tempted to overindulge in the other fatty, calorie laden offerings of party pies and sausage rolls.  Nuts are a good fat food….but realise that even a handful contains 500kJ….enough to sabotage your healthy eating plan.  If you are tempted….have a little and then go for an extra long walk or other exercise to compensate.  Always have an extra big glass of water to help fill you up before you start eating anything.
    Put an ideal body shape picture on the fridge door….to help keep you on track.  Good luck.

  • Lisa Renn


    Lisa is an APD with 12 years experience, specialising in helping people identify and change habits that impact negatively on their health. Inspiring change, Lisa … View Profile

    Hi there,
    just another word on the use of nuts as a snack. There is a lot of evidence now that using nuts instead of high fat/high calorie snacks like biscuits, soft drink, pastries, chocolates can assist with weight control.
    Have a look at  the “Nuts for LIfe” website:
    Find out how these great snacks can be part of everyday and assist in weight control despite being high in calories.

  • Having gathered 28 years of private practice experience , Genevieve wants to assist people with practical changes to their food and lifestyle issues in order … View Profile

    If you're determined to lose weight, then that determination needs to be in place whether you're at work or at home, or anywhere else. You will do better if you bring your food to work so there's less need to buy lunch or be offered and tempted by other foods in the office. Particularly with mid-meal snacks, it would be a good idea to bring them from home.

    Things like raw vegetables and berries make good snacks, and also bring water with you if there isn't water available, which you can flavor yourself with mint, strawberries, or lime. I would also suggest that you use the opportunity of the lunch hour to go for a walk or even to get off the bus a stop earlier on the way home.

    If possible, it would be good to avoid the weekly or monthly office birthday parties where there is always too much cake. Perhaps you can excuse yourself on a more regular basis.

  • Chloe graduated from Flinders’ University in 2008 and has since worked as a Dietitian in clinical, community and private practice, and as a university lecturer. … View Profile

    Planning! As we get busier and busier at work, it can get more difficult to ensure that healthy choices are readily available. Keeping a stock of healthy snacks on hand is essential, for example  nuts such as almonds and walnuts, muesli bars or cans of tuna, salmon or 4 bean mix. Taking in enough perishables at the start of each week works well as well, for example 5 small tubs of yoghurt, a selection of fruit or chopped vegetable sticks with hommus.
    Some work places will now supply fruit as a healthy snack, a great initiative that you could get your work place on to as well.
    Keep a bottle/jug/glass of water on your desk and sip on it throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
    Monitor portions. For example, I regularly see clients who have three or more large milky coffees per day. This can contribute significantly to your daily intake. 1 large full cream latte is approximately 400mL, this is 940kJ, by having 3 of these, that equates to nearly 3000kJ, not to mention over a litre of milk! Simply by choosing a small rather than a large, the kilojoule content of 1 latte is reduced to 517kJ, or 1551kJ for 3. Still a significant contribution, but a marked decrease in overall energy intake, though this could be further reduced by choosing a low fat or soy milk instead.

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