Dietary Guidelines if You Have a Sedentary Job

People with a sedentary job have a higher risk of developing certain health problems. That's why it's important to pay attention to your food. Learn everything you need to know in this article!
Dietary Guidelines if You Have a Sedentary Job
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

You should discover some dietary guidelines if you have a sedentary job. The reason? A sedentary lifestyle is a factor in the onset of disease. However, in some jobs, this is unavoidable, since the person must remain seated most of the time.

The quality of the diet is important here, as eating healthy and varied food can mitigate the negative effects of physical inactivity to some extent. It also contributes to balanced body weight and the prevention of health problems.

Here are some strategies.

Dietary guidelines for people with sedentary jobs: Four key tips

Proper nutrition can help counteract some of the effects of sedentary work. In any case, whenever possible, it’s best to incorporate some physical activity into your routine.

1. Eat small portions

Eating small portions helps extend life. Scientific research supports this statement, especially when it comes to individuals over the age of 40. As the years go by, the number of nutrients that everyone needs decreases considerably.

On the other hand, doctors suggest maintaining energy balance and not ingesting more calories than those expended in order not to gain weight. In this sense, it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of food eaten throughout the day. This also reduces the risk of disease and aging.

To carry out this task successfully, you can resort to intermittent fasting. Current studies show its hormonal benefits, beyond simple weight control. Start by not eating breakfast every day, and later include a 24-hour fast every week.

Remember, however, that it’s best to visit a doctor or nutritionist before starting such a big change to do it correctly and without risks.

A clock plate
Intermittent fasting can be an option to generate a caloric deficit in the diet of people with sedentary jobs.

2. Consume more fiber and probiotics

Another problem of people with a sedentary job is that they have poor intestinal transit. To correct this problem the best solution is the regular intake of fiber and probiotics. The former is found in fruits and vegetables. In the case of probiotics, the preferred option is to consume yogurt regularly.

Experts say that regular consumption of fiber improves constipation processes and helps prevent the onset of gastrointestinal diseases. It can even modulate appetite and carbohydrate absorption, which also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

3. Prioritize fresh over-processed foods

Processed products often contain sugars and trans fats. These types of nutrients, together with additives, are not recommended for health. For this reason, reducing their consumption is beneficial in the medium and long term.

In addition, these foods have a high energy value. Their regular consumption increases the risk of obesity or overweight. As if that weren’t enough, they contain substances that can become toxic over time, such as acrylamide.

All these reasons lead us to advise against this type of food and to replace them with fresh products that contain abundant doses of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.

4. Eliminate alcohol

A glass of wine a day doesn’t improve cardiovascular health. Ingesting alcohol is always negative for the body, doctors say you should avoid drinking alcohol.

This suggestion becomes a rule for sedentary people, as it’ll mean an extra intake of calories that’ll result in an undesired increase in body weight. The amount of lean mass will also be modified due to its catabolic effects. What’s more, it’ll lead to the accumulation of hepatic fat and the malfunctioning of the body.

A man drinking alcohol
There’s no safe dose of alcohol. It also adds unnecessary calories to the diet.

Dietary guidelines for sedentary jobs: what to remember

For people with a sedentary job, food plays an even more important role in promoting health. For this reason, you must be careful in your decisions regarding food.

Therefore, you should try to consume products that offer a good handful of quality nutrients, rather than falling for processed foods high in sugars and additives that can be harmful.

The strategy of intermittent fasting is also an effective way to reduce dietary calories and improve body composition. The simplest way to do this is usually to cut out a meal, although other protocols work just as well. If you also combine this with some carbohydrate restriction, the benefits regarding fat loss are even greater.

So, what are you waiting for to put these tips into practice to enjoy better health?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Larrick JW., Mendelsohn  AR., Finally, a regimen to extend human life expectancy. Rejuvenation Res, 2018. 21 (3): 278-282.
  • Patterson RE., Sears DD., Metabolic effects of intermittent fasting. Annu Rev Nutr, 2017. 37: 371-393.
  • Christodoulides S., Dimid E., Fragkos KC., Farmer AD., et al., Systematic review with meta analysis: effect of fibre supplementation on chronic idiopathic constipatioin in adults. Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 2016. 44(2): 103-16.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.