How To Lose Weight As A Construction Worker (9 Top Tips)


So, you decided you want to lose weight and you might be wondering how to lose weight as a construction worker, and how your job might impact your results.

Do you need to do anything differently? Does your job in construction make it easier or harder to actually lose weight?

In order to lose weight as a construction worker, you need to be in a calorie deficit just like any other occupation. But, your job of being in construction can burn many calories, which will help you to lose weight as well.

You can definitely use this to your advantage.

Let’s dive in.

Can You Lose Weight Working Construction?

Of course you can lose weight as a construction worker, and you actually have a head start over other occupations that might be more sedentary.

Working in construction can actually help you to burn more calories, which is the key to losing weight.

Losing weight all comes down to calories in vs. calories out.

Being active and moving around all day is a great way to get your heart rate up and keep your metabolism going and going.


In fact, it’s been shown that people who have physically demanding jobs tend to be leaner than those who don’t. So if you want to lose weight as a construction worker, you’re already ahead of the game!

It is also important however, that you keep the “calories in” aspect top of mind.

Just because your job is going to be burning more calories does not mean you can neglect the food you are eating.

What Diet Should A Construction Worker Do?

There is no specific diet or special diet that someone who works in construction should follow. The only thing you need to do to lose weight as a construction worker is to follow a calorie deficit plan.

Related Post: Is a 700 Calorie Deficit Too Much?

Now, it is true that working construction is an active job, but you still need to make sure that your diet is on point.

If you really want to lose weight while working construction, you still need a calorie deficit.

While you are burning a ton more calories than the average person while working such a labor intensive job, you still need to make sure you are burning more calories than you are taking in on a daily basis.

Calorie Deficit For Construction Workers

Creating a calorie deficit as a construction worker is a little bit different than a sedentary individual.

You will be burning more calories than the average person who sits the majority of the day, which means you will have a higher calculated TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure.

An easy way for you to get a rough estimate of your TDEE is to use a simple tool such as this online TDEE Calculator.

All you need to do is plug in your personalized information (gender, age, weight, height, activity level) to get your own TDEE calculation. This is the amount of calories you burn every single day just by existing and doing your job.

When calculating, you can start out by choosing your activity level as “heavy” if you work 5 days per week.

To create a calorie deficit, it is recommended to start with a 500 calorie deficit, so all you would need to do is subtract 500 calories from whatever you got when calculating.

For example, if you calculated your TDEE at 3,474 calories, you will just need to subtract 500 calories from this to get your daily calorie goal of 2,974 calories.

Below, you can see how the TDEE calculation will change based on activity level. The more activity you perform, the higher your basal metabolic rate will be (TDEE.)

Basal Metabolic Rate2,014 calories per day
Sedentary2,417 calories per day
Light Exercise2,769 calories per day
Moderate Exercise3,122 calories per day
Heavy Exercise3,474 calories per day
Athlete3,827 calories per day

Fine Tuning The Calorie Deficit

What you need to do once you have your daily calorie intake goal based on your TDEE, is trial it.

Simply trial consuming this amount of calories for 1-2 weeks. If you lose weight, great. This meets your calculation is spot on.

If you did not lose weight or you gained weight, you will just need to decrease the amount of calories you are eating by 100-200 calories.

It’s that simple. All it takes is a little bit or trial and error to get started. This is the only way to find that sweet spot that will allow you to be in a true deficit.

Related Post: How To Create A Calorie Deficit With A Low TDEE

Top Tips To Lose Weight As A Construction Worker

Here is a list of tips that will help you stay on track and lose the weight that you want to while also working in the construction field.

1. Make Sure Your Calorie Deficit Is On Point.

This is truly the most important part of having success.

The calorie deficit you create needs to be on point and you need to actually make sure you are in a true deficit.

You must trial it for a couple weeks and check results. If you continue with a calculation that is not truly accurate, this means you will likely not see the results you are looking for.

2. Still Include Exercise If You Can.

It is true that you burn more calories working construction than the average person, but you can burn even more if you choose to exercise or lift weights.

While this is not 100% required for results, it doesn’t hurt to start exercising and lifting weights when you are off the job.


Not only will this help you reach your goal in an easier way, but it will also help you reduce the extra stress from your job too.

Less stress=easier weight loss.

3. Drink Plenty Of Water.

You’re probably thinking “yes, I know water is important,” but did you know that it can actually help you lose weight more efficiently?

Drinking water and being adequately hydrated helps you lose weight by stimulating your metabolism and regulating hunger cues.

When you drink plenty of water, you will find it easier to eat less because you will feel fuller for longer as the volume from the water takes up space in your stomach.

You might want to consider taking a jug of water with you to the job site.

4. Pack a Healthy Lunch Box

Packing a healthy lunch is important for results.

You want to make sure that the lunch you pack will allow you to stay within the calorie goal you set for yourself, while also providing a good amount of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, carbs and protein.

One of the best ways to do this is to pack things like lean meats such as chicken breast as well as vegetables and fruits.

You can even throw some healthy nuts or seeds in there as well for some healthy fats.

These are all foods that will help you feel fuller for longer and provide your body with what it needs to function properly.

5. Avoid Sugary Drinks and Sodas If You Can.

Avoiding high sugar sodas and sports drinks is a great idea to save on calories.

If you switch to the diet versions of these drinks, you could easily shave off 500-600 calories per day or more of just plain sugar.

After you make the switch to sugar free/calorie free drinks, you will get used to the taste difference and you will be able to reach your fat loss goals so much easier.

For example, if you drink Gatorade at the job site, try switching to Gatorade G2.

6. Get Enough Sleep Every Night.

It is recommended for adults to get 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night.

Sleep is important for weight loss because it helps to regulate hormones such as leptin and ghrelin.

Ghrelin is the hormone that signals hunger to the brain, while leptin is the hormone that signals satiety or fullness.

When you don’t get enough sleep, these hormones can become imbalanced, which can lead to overeating and weight gain.

If you’re not getting a good 7-8 hours of sleep in each night, you might want to try hitting the hay a bit earlier.

7. Manage Stress Levels.

I know, managing stress is easier said than done. But, by trying to manage your stress levels and curb your anxiety, you could see weight loss results come more easily to you, and faster too.

When we are extremely stressed out, levels of the hormone cortisol rise sharply.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that can promote weight gain by increasing appetite and causing the body to store more fat.

So, by managing your stress levels, you can help keep cortisol levels down and get on track to lose the weight you want to.

8. Avoid The Vending Machines

Vending machines typically are not filled with the best snack options.

The snacks in these machines are typically high in sugar, calories and unhealthy fats.

So, by avoiding the vending machines at work and just packing your own healthier snacks, you will be able to avoid slipping up and putting yourself into a calorie surplus.

It’s a great idea to pack your own snacks. Some easy snacks you could include and take with you to work can be:

  • Fruit
  • Veggies and low fat ranch
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Granola or granola bars
  • Low sodium jerky or meat sticks
  • 100 calorie snack packs (cookies or baked chips)

Snacking should never be off limit. There is nothing wrong with snacking in between meals.

In fact, you will be able to keep yourself feeling satiated in between meals. It is a good idea to have lower calorie snacks however, so that you do not go overboard on calories.

9. Stay Consistent With Attainable Goals.

Staying consistent means that you are going to give yourself adequate time to reach your goal, while also staying true to what you need to do to reach your fat loss goal.

If you set a goal to lose 20 pounds in 2 months, that is a very aggressive and may not be realistic for some people.

A more reasonable and doable goal would be to set a goal to lose 1-2 pounds per week for 10 weeks. This is a much more manageable and realistic goal that will still lead to better success.

If you set a goal of 1-2 pounds of weight loss for two months, try your best to just stick with it and try your best.

If you slip up now and then, just get right back on track the next day. A slip up here and there is not failure.

Just tough it out until you get there, you will be happy you did.

How Many Calories Can You Burn Working Construction?

Working as a construction worker can burn upwards of 1,600-3,600 calories in just one 8 hour shift. Yes, this means you will burn a ton of calories just doing your job!

Individuals that work labor intensive jobs or jobs where they are away from a desk and moving have a much higher advantage to those who work a sedentary job.

Of course, the amount of calories you will burn working construction will vary by the seasons as well.


Those of you who are working outside in the middle of the extremely hot summer will burn quite a few more calories than someone working construction in the winter months.

But remember, your body utilizes energy trying to keep itself warm as well, so while you may not burn as many calories in the winter as you do in the summer, your body is still requiring energy to keep warm.

Common Ways Construction Workers Burn Calories

You may not have ever thought about all the ways that you are actively burning calories on the job as a construction worker.

The ways you burn calories working in the construction field include:

  • Walking around the job site.
  • Carrying heavy materials or equipment.
  • Lifting and moving heavy objects.
  • Digging holes or trenches.
  • Using power tools.
  • Climbing ladders or scaffolding.
  • Painting or staining surfaces.
  • Cement work
  • Being on your feet all day long

You may be doing quite a few of these or possibly even all of them, and maybe not even have realized how many calories you could be burning.

All of these activities require energy, and therefore burn calories in the process! And as we all know, the more calories you burn, the more weight you will lose in the calorie deficit you have created for yourself.

Last Words

As a construction worker, you definitely have an advantage over a sedentary worker when trying to lose weight, because your job is more labor intensive.

However, while you do have an advantage, you still need to make sure you create a healthy, effective, and sustainable calorie deficit and stick to it over time to lose the weight you want to.

Losing body fat is all about calories in and calories out. If you burn more calories than you are consuming, you WILL lose weight.

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