Why Eating at Your Desk Makes You 5kg Heavier!

Friday rabbit hole lead me down this thread… I tried not to… but who could resist?

Last night I was reading Jamie McIntyre’s new newspaper on women in senior roles in the work place (specifically if a company has female representation their profits increase by 5%) and this morning while reading The Australian Review read about fat gain caused by sitting at your work desk and then this woman and her research: Dr Yvette Blount who works with Macquarie University (NSW) in the faculty of Business and Economics.

I know that these readings can not be ignored and today I wanted to type something for working women.

And being a Friday I will keep it brief (I have links below to some of the articles I have been reading if you would like to delve further…)

The 3 Things we must pay attention to if we work…


1. Eating at your desk makes you 5 kg heavier. 

I love stats and attention grabbing headlines but seeing as I have your attention, eating at your desk is a no-no!

Research has shown that people who do so, gain 500 grams a year, and over a 10 year period this is 5kg. Just because you are eating in the wrong place!

The research believed it was due to poor food choices.

I know it is a culmination of poor food choices, high cortisol levels (this alters insulin which leads to tummy fat), higher testosterone levels that are created by work (also alter insulin levels) and not releasing correct stomach acid when you eat (the sympathetic system shuts down your digestive system and for most women, work involves the stress response).

If you are unsure if you are affected by this faux pas do you:

  • Feel tired mid afternoon?
  • Burp after eating?
  • Gain weight when you are stressed?
  • Feel tired after eating?
  • Crave something sweet after eating?
  • Have tummy fat?

If you would like to read what the Australian Business Review wrote the full article is here. The hormonal information is my stuff and found on my website.


2. Not taking a lunch break leads to Vitamin D deficiency

Saddly, in my home country, a land girt by sun and beaches, vitamin D deficiency is on a par with Nepal.

Ironically many people in Australia avoid the sun – I believe due to a very effective anti-melanoma campaign, which has seen people hating the sun. In fact is has become so ingrain that current new generations never see “raw sun” as they are cocooned in a variety of slip, slop, slap strategies designed to “protect them from that evil ball of fire in the sky”. But I digress.

Vitamin D, mainly sourced from the sun (specifically UVB rays which are middle of the day rays), is essential for life and well being. It plays a role on the cell membrane to implode the cell if is is mutating (ie helps prevent cancer cells), it helps with the bone matrix (and helps prevent osteoporosis), it helps with immune factors (allergies and the ability to fight coughs and colds), and happy hormones.

Vitamin D is gorgeous and vital.

If you are a melanoma risk you still need vitamin D from somewhere (food sources or supplement) but for the rest of you beautiful office workers, please pop out in your lunch break and get 15-20 minutes a day on a limb. If you are concerned about moles and melanomas, have a skin cancer check.

In fact make it a priority to do both.

3. Don’t take work into the home.

I have been a working mum for fifteen years, have helped hundreds of workings mums and non-mums and the hardest thing for us “gals”is switching off the work hat and letting the fun one finds it’s place.

Coming with the swapping of roles, comes a needed change in hormones.

Fun releases happy, balancing hormones, such as oxytocin ( which makes us smile, cuddly and nice).

Staying engaged with your work brain, and thoughts, keeps testosterone and cortisol hormones up (which makes us reactive, aggressive and anxious).

These lead to all sorts of things – irritability, anger, facial hair, acne and belly fat. A medical syndrome called PCO is a due to elevated testosterone and I have loads of information for you on this one – my pet subject.

When we are still thinking about work outside of work, aside from stress hormones being released, we struggle to relax, feel loving and experience joy.

I suggest when you leave work today, leave work at work.

Do some deep breathing, file away lose ideas, follow-up items etc at 430pm. Leave by 5pm and don’t return mentally, physically or hormonally until Monday.


And on that note, I shall sign off and finish up doing the same.

I have weekend of relaxing planned.

Have a fabulous, fun weekend working gals!