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An Exposé Series: A Day in the Life of the American Working Professional, Part 1

  • Karran Gupta
  • October 2, 2015

Meet Sara. Sara is a 25-year-old professional, who works in a standard office building, at a typical 9-5 job. She is 5’-5”, 145 pounds, and wants to lose weight, around 20 pounds would suffice. She isn’t really fond of “rabbit food”, and is a pretty picky eater, so it is hard for her to “diet”. She likes exercising, but often finds it difficult to fit it into her schedule. She sometimes finds herself complaining to office mates that her butt has fallen asleep from sitting too long. Here is how a typical day in Sara’s life plays out.

7:30 AM Rise and shine. Sara wakes up, gets herself ready, and heads out for her half hour drive to work.

8:45 AM Sara, while driving, remembers that she read in Glamour Magazine that its important to eat breakfast when trying to lose weight, so she decides to make a quick stop at Tim Horton’s for a bagel with light cream cheese and a medium cafe mocha. She is excited because she is making good choices now and soon will have the body of her dreams.

9:00 AM Nose to the grindstone, lots of to-do’s to cross off the list, emails to write, and phone calls to follow up on. Sara thinks to herself that she should have grabbed a bottle of water before getting started on work.

11:30 AM Sara finally has a moment’s peace, heads to the restroom for the first time since arriving at work and grabs her first water of the day from the vending machine.

12:30 PM Lunchtime. Sara heads down to the cafeteria with a few coworkers. On the way, she tells herself to stay away from the dessert section, because that damn cheesecake always calls to her. She decides on a half a sandwich (hot turkey melt) with a side of fries, because they just smell so good. She eats about half of the fries and tells herself that she won’t eat that much for dinner tonight, to offset the extra calories from the fries. She opts for a Vitamin Water instead of soda to drink.

1:30 PM Lunch is over and Sara heads back to her desk.

3:00 PM Sara can barely stay awake. She is so sleepy, all she can think about is taking a nap. She decides she needs a snack to help wake up. She buys a Snickers Marathon Energy bar from the vending machine. On her way back to her desk, she sees her reflection in a window and thinks to herself, man I really need to start working out. She decides that she will begin tonight. Its a beautiful day for a run, and now that it is Fall, she should take advantage of the nice weather while it is still here.

5:00 PM Time to head home. Sara gets a call from Chelsea, who is meeting up with a group friends at a restaurant for dinner and drinks. She asks Sara to join them. Sara decides to meet up for just a bit, then go home and workout afterward.

7:00 PM Sara meets up with friends and orders a cosmopolitan, her favorite drink. She decides she is not that hungry and orders an appetizer off of the low-fat menu as her meal – chicken quesadillas.

10:00 PM Sara says her good-byes and leaves the restaurant. She had a great time, but realizes that her workout plans are shot. She heads home thinking tomorrow is a new day, she can start her workout plans then.

11:00 PM Sara hits the hay with thoughts of a fresh start tomorrow.

Totals for the Day

Breakfast – 550 calories, 17.5 g fat, 81 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 14 g protein, 736 mg sodium
Lunch – 829 calories, 38.5 g fat, 90 g carbs, 3.5 g fiber, 30 g protein, 1795 mg sodium
Snack – 220 calories, 7 g fat, 29 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 10 g protein, 220 mg sodium
Dinner – 955 calories, 14 g fat, 102 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 65 g protein, 2000 mg sodium

TOTAL – 2554 calories, 77 g fat, 302 g carbs, 18.5 g fiber, 119 g protein, 4751 mg sodium

Sara’s BMR = 1474 calories per day, plus activity multiplier of 1.2 = a grand total of 1769 calories burned per day.

So that means she is eating roughly 800 calories per day more than she is burning. And this is when she is TRYING to make better choices. Not to mention the fact that she is not getting enough protein or fiber, not drinking enough water, is eating way too many refined carbs, and double the amount of sodium for her activity level.

Not you, you say? Alright, well how about this. Stay tuned for Part 2

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