Kids, relationships, deadlines and traffic are just some of the commodities ready to disrupt a shape-up plan like a health inspector crashing a cannibal's kitchen.
By implementing (not only reading) my 8 tips below, you can begin controlling your environment, rather than vice versa.
Ever walked into a meeting only to be greeted by the snack packs and tasty treats? I hate to admit it, but even at Bodybuilding.com I have been exposed to these heinous crimes. The counterattack: BYO, baby!
Ask my work colleagues, and they will tell you that I often clear a meeting room faster than a fire alarm with the smell of my fish-filled Tupperware.
But you're much better off offending someone else with your food choices rather than negatively impacting your goals because you caved into to an environment suited to others. Control your environment!
Your Physique Is Made, Not Bought
If your mornings are rushed, a trip to the drive-thru, vending machine or the snack counter at the coffee shop is as likely as a rainy day in England.
Make sure your meals for the day are prepared the evening before. Cans of tuna, almonds, rice cakes, protein powder, and protein bars are great choices to leave at the office in case you forget to pack yesterdays leftover chicken or beef dinner into Tupperware for the workday.
Don't Break Down By Passing on Breakfast
If you tend to overeat at lunchtime or choose unhealthy options during the day, it may be because you have skipped the most important meal of the day, breakfast.
By eating a healthy breakfast, you'll boost your metabolism in order to burn fat, prevent muscle wastage, and lower the chance of cravings by leveling your crashing glycogens levels.
Sleep To Your Success
If you aren't getting enough Zzzz's, you may find yourself reaching for food as a source of energy even though your body may not be hungry.
Try to sleep around 7 to 8 hours every night to avoid feeling tired at work and desperate for that quick pick-me-up, which normally comes in the form of something sugary and not-so-sweet on your physique.
Need some help?
"I always take my ZMA by Optimum Nutrition before bed so I can have a restful sleep," says Jaquelyn Kay Kastelic, CPT, a Team Bodybuilding.com member. "I wake up feeling fresh and ready for a new day to training hard!"
Power Up Your Protein
Protein is our best friend when it comes to muscle preservation, but did you know that it also slows the release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream? Breads and pasta will elevate your blood sugar levels, an event normally followed by an afternoon slump. This, in turn, can lead to a vending machine invitation to pick you back up.
Protein also requires more calories to digest, which stokes a natural thermogenic effect. Include a lean form of protein in each one of your meals to maintain an even blood sugar level and to prevent a craving crisis.
"I love to utilize different kinds of protein throughout my day," says Steve Cook, a Team Bodybuilding.com member. "If I won't be able to get a solid meal in me at work, I will make sure I have a blend of different proteins so my body has something that will digest slowly and keep me from feeling hungry sooner."
* Ratings as of article's date of publication
How Fat Free Is Your Flat White?
Many clients have told me that they are following a strict diet ... over a cup of coffee. A full cream coffee can contain around 400 calories, and that's not including the sugar you may be adding to it.
If you must have a coffee, take it with fat free milk and a sweetener such as Stevia.
"As much as I like a latte, I always ask for a black coffee (unless it's my cheat day), with some fat free milk on the side," says Marika Johansson, an IFBB pro and pro PTA Instructor Examiner. "I don't like to overindulge in sweeteners, so I'll always carry some Stevia, which is a natural form of sweetener, in my handbag. This way, I can mingle with friends without socializing with calories."
Take a Social Inventory
If you're tempted by the vending machine or unsupportive work colleagues, avoid them-at least until you've gained more self-control. If you can't avoid them for reasons you can't control, be sure to have a protein bars or some healthy snacks within arm's reach at all times as part of your defense mechanism.
Be prepared, or you're prepare to fail
If you know you are going to be kept late at work, don't wait until your 7 p.m. mealtime to think about what to eat. Chances are, you may order a takeout or sneak away to the golden arches.
"I work a couple of jobs and I know that going from one straight to another, leaves little time for eating and can even lead to forgetting my already-packed lunch at home," says Aubrie Richeson, a Team Bodybuilding.com member.
"For that reason, I keep a tub of protein at my training studio, my office management job and of course at my home. That way I have no reason or excuses as to why I'm hungry or skipping meals."
Unless your job involves unpicking dolphins from Chinese fishing nets, head out at your lunch break and grab some low fat cottage cheese and rice cakes for your evening work shift. Your physique will thank you for it, and hopefully you will thank me for these eight ways to beat your workday weight gain.