Desk Job Weight Loss Journey: Week 1

Well here we are, I’m one week into my desk job weight loss journey!

Since we’re both new around here, here’s more information on what I’m including in my efforts to lose weight with a desk job:

  • Portion control
  • Under desk treadmill
  • 10,000 – 16,000 steps per day
  • Reduced snacking

And how did I get here?

Well, I’d like to say I’m just trying to lose weight after having a baby but actually that baby is now very much a toddler and the weight did NOT come dropping off for me.

I started visiting a personal trainer and calorie counting about 6 months ago and although I did get stronger and a little bit more toned, the scales have stubbornly stayed the same. So what was going wrong?

I hate calorie counting

Not only that but I HATE calorie counting with a passion. I just couldn’t stick at it no matter what I tried. I find it very restrictive, obsessive, and depressing. To be honest, as a mom of two I just don’t have time to weigh out every grain of rice, double-check the back of packets, and all that comes with calorie counting.

So despite the fact I was “doing calorie counting”, I fell off the wagon a lot.

My personal trainer advised me that I could just spot-check certain days to ensure my regular meals were within their calorie limits but I found I’d go weeks and weeks without counting and ultimately, I couldn’t see a problem with my diet. I was eating 3 meals per day, two low-calorie snacks, and trying to avoid temptations. Sometimes I would succeed and sometimes I would fail.

Ultimately, it just wasn’t working for me.

I returned to my desk job

After a little bit of soul searching and brainstorming, I realized that returning to work 5 days per week in a sedentary desk job was likely to be hindering my weight loss efforts.

I work from home and can often be sitting for hours at a time. So as soon as I returned to work my Fitbit was hidden in the back of a drawer where I didn’t have to think about it. This was my first mistake.

My second mistake was thinking the initial 4-6lbs I lost when I started personal training (before I went back to work) would stay off or continue to drop once I was living a much more sedentary lifestyle.

As a result, I have somehow managed to gain back 2lbs despite still going to personal training sessions 3 times per week and making lame attempts at calorie counting.

It’s important to note that I have seen huge non-scale victories from personal training. I have lost inches (although not as many as I’d like) and I am a lot stronger. So even though it hasn’t worked as I expected it to, I will be continuing my personal training sessions alongside some of the more recent changes I have made.

Ok, I’ll stop with the back story now and get to what I’m currently doing in my desk job weight loss journey and how it’s been going so far!

Desk Job Weight Loss: The New Plan

I know I gave you a breakdown at the beginning of this post but I’m not going to leave you with such little info on what I’ve been doing in my desk job weight loss journey. So here’s a detailed breakdown of exactly what I’m doing and why.

Portion control

My personal trainer asked me to take some pictures of my meals and write down everything I ate for a week. She then reviewed them the following week and her feedback surprised me.

Despite me cooking dinners from weight loss recipe books every evening (that contain a TON of veggies), she said I was not having enough veggies. Instead, I need to be making half of my plate vegetables, a quarter protein and a quarter carbs.

Ok, well that is wildly different from what I was preparing and I could definitely make those changes.

At first I was a bit skeptical about how hungry I might feel but I can honestly say, if anything, I feel more satisfied after my evening meal now than I did before I made this change. I can also see how (even though I’m not calorie counting) this would make a huge difference to my calories consumed each day.

Increasing my activity

This has been quite the journey and a big reason why I started this blog. I’ll walk you through each step I’ve taken.

Standing Desks

I started out looking at standing desks and found some helpful Reddit communities, specifically r/StandingDesks with lots of recommendations for using a standing desk with a balance board. I didn’t love the idea of the balance board but the standing desk appealed to me.

And then I discovered this TikTok account and for the first time since returning to my sedentary lifestyle, I felt like this could be a solution for me.

DIY Treadmill Desk

Under Desk Treadmill

So I ordered a basic under desk treadmill and standing desk converter from Amazon to make this a reality for me. I’ve taken a picture of my setup so you can see exactly how basic this thing is. I achieved the entire setup for around $350.

And as you can see from the picture, I am writing this blog post as I use my under desk treadmill! I apologize for the mess on my desk (and as you can see from my vape, I’m not the healthiest person on the planet!), this was very much an impromptu picture!

I started out with the aim of 10,000 steps per day but after my second day where I hit 16,000 steps in a morning alone, I decided to ramp up my goals to 16,000 steps per day and see what happens.

Reduced snacking

This one is a result of my new desk setup! I find that I don’t want to stop until I’ve hit my goal of 16,000 steps. So when I start walking in the morning I tend to keep going until lunchtime and at most I might have a cup of coffee when I first get started. This has been the easiest adjustment to make!

Desk Job Weight Loss Journey:Week 1 Results

I’ll be honest, I set up my under desk treadmill and standing desk combo on a Thursday, so you could argue that this is about 10 days worth of results. But I didn’t commit to 16,000 steps per day until the following Monday so for the sake of keeping things simple, let’s say this was roughly a week!

I use my under desk treadmill and standing desk setup 5 days per week (Monday to Friday) and on the weekends I try to get out with my husband and kids to hit as close to 10,000 steps as I can. That’s my new minimum.

So… how did I do? I lost 3lbs!

And I feel AMAZING. My body feels great from moving more every day and I’m definitely feeling the benefits of adding more veggies to my diet.

I’ll keep updating this blog every week with my progress and if you do find yourself here, please drop any questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them!

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