Getting in shape and staying lean while working the 9 – 5 can be very challenging. You may have bought a gym membership and made a metnal goal to get in shape. But 6 months later, you haven’t gone to the gym yet and you still look the same.

If you can relate to that, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I work as a Techincal Writer for a company and my job requires me to sit at my desk and look at the screen all day. Not much physical activity whatsoever. My diet was also bad. I ate fastfood takeaways and had a lot of chocolate. I started to notice my body fill up really quickly.

So one day I told myself that enough is enough. I did some extensive research and applied all that I learnt. I’ve cleaned up my diet and I have developed a workout routine that is realistic and achievable for my lifestyle. So now I will share with you 5 habits to stay lean despite working 9-5.

1. Limit Sugar Intake

Sitting in an office all day means that your body is hardly moving and you are not burning much calories. The foods you eat during the day will not be used by your body and if you don’t use it at all, it will be stored as fat. So what you want to avoid doing is consuming unnecessary foods. These “unnecessary foods” would be sugary foods such as these:

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee or Milk with Sugar
  • Lollies
  • Cakes, muffins and doughnuts

If you’ve every felt sluggish at work then it was probably all the sugar that you’ve been eating. I felt that way too and I instantly felt a difference when I cut out sugary foods from my diet.

2. Intermittent Fasting

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Healthline defines intermittent fasting as: “an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.” There are various methods to doing Intermittent Fasting but the method that I use and is most effective for my body type (mesomorph) is the 16:9.

The 16:9 method means that I will fast for 16 hours and have a 8 hour eating period. Keep in mind that this 8 hour period doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want. To really make this method of intermittent fasting effective, you will need to have a proper diet. Some people have a low carb diet while others follow a keto diet. Choosing the right diet will depend on your preference and goals. You can try out a couple of diets to see what works best for you.

I have my first meal at 12pm and then my last meal by 8pm. I usually have 2 meals total per day. I find this method to be very cost effective too since I am only eating 2 meals a day.

Before attempting Intermittent Fasting, please see your doctor.

3. Snack on Fruits and Nuts

I mentioned earlier that you will need to remove sugar from diet. You may have been wondering so what will I eat when I feel hungry at work. Why not replace doughnuts and cupcakes with fruits. Consuming natural sugars is far more beneficial to your health.

Be sure to keep a packet of almonds or any of your favorite nuts on your desk. Snacking on nuts is not only healthier for your body but also for your mind.

The most important rule when it comes to snacking on fruits and nuts is to consume in moderation. Fruits are high in carbs and natural sugars so you will need to avoid eating too much fruits. Nuts are a good source of fats, fiber and protein but they are also high in calories. So it would be wise to limit how much nuts you consume each day.

4. Workout Regularly

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Create a regular workout routine and stick to it. Working out not only improves your physical health but also your mental health. Exercising is the best way to release stress and just zone out.

Focus on strength training at least 2 days a week. I have written an article about how to create 2 strength training workouts for the week and doing HIIT workouts on the rest of the days.

A proper workout routine combined with a proper diet is the key to achieving a lean body all year round. So try to have a schedule and in place and ensure that you stick to it.

5. Sleep Better

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Make sure that you give your body it’s well deserved rest. Sleeping is just as important as dieting and working out. If you don’t have proper sleep then your body will not perform at its optimal level.

Ensure that you are having at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep everyday. Getting sufficient rest will also improve your mood and brain function.

Live A Lean Life

Your physical health is very important. Ensuring that you feed your body the right foods and regularly working out will benefit you in the long run. Getting a lean body despite working 9 – 5 is POSSIBLE. All you have to do is change your habits.

I can guarantee that you can get lean if you develop the habits outlined in this post.

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