We spend a lot of our time at work but the workplace tends to be a minefield for those of us watching our weight. Read this article to learn 8 key strategies for avoiding overeating at work.
It’s easy to overeat at work. Your colleagues bring treats every day because it’s always someone’s birthday or leaving a party. There is a culture that people eat a muffin or donut every Friday or even every day. The staff restaurant is full of fried food or mayonnaise-laden salads and the nearest off-site place serves nothing but fast food.
Here are 8 tips for immunizing yourself against unwanted workplace calories.
1. Bring your own lunch and healthy snacks
You know that makes sense. If you have something healthy and delicious to eat, you will be less tempted by all the other unhealthy things around. It takes a little planning when you do your weekly shop but you will reap the rewards. Choose foods that are easy to prepare and get as much as you can prepare the night before to avoid last-minute panic in the morning.
2. Say “No” properly
You can get a lot of pressure from other people to taste the snacks they carry so this one might take some practice but it gets easier after a while. Just say “No thanks not just now” or “No thanks, I was just about to have an apple” or “No thanks I just ate” or just “No thanks” – no need to explain or apologize .
Saying you’re on a diet seems to make some people try and persuade you to go stronger. (“One won’t get sick”, “Surely you don’t have to lose weight again you’ll fade” etc). Before you know it you give up. If you really can’t stand the pressure of saying “Thanks I’ll save it for later”, take it home and throw it away.
3. Keep your table away from food
This prompts trouble for keeping food on your table. Put the lunch and snacks you brought out of sight so you have to go and get something from the kitchen or locker room when you’re hungry. On the other hand, if the kitchen at your workplace tends to be full of treats that people leave to share, you might be better off keeping your food on your table. But at least keep out of sight in cupboards or drawers.
4. Stop to eat
Don’t subconsciously nibble food on your table – this is the easiest way to overeat. Pause in whatever you’re doing each time you decide to eat and take the time to really taste the food. If there is somewhere you can go from your table to eat then do it, otherwise stop working on your report or read your email for 5 minutes and be fully aware of the food you are eating.
5. Stay away from the vending machines
Vending machines tend to be full of unhealthy calorie-laden foods. Having your own snacks will help you resist the temptation to self-medicate. But, nevertheless, keep it out of the room with the machine and if you really can’t resist, stop bringing any changes to work – that’s the only way!
6. When you need a break
Don’t eat just because you need to rest. Instead, take a brisk walk or drink a glass of water or herbal tea – even coffee is better than eating foods you don’t need. If you find that there are times when you just need a bite of something make sure you always have plenty of healthy snacks with you. You can bite quite a bit on stick carrots, cucumbers and celery without doing any damage to your waist.
7. Work together
If you have colleagues who are also trying to lose weight, join in and help each other stay on track. It’s nice to have someone to walk around with at lunch or to communicate with when someone else wolf down the cake someone has brought in.
8. Choose wisely
You don’t have to turn down social invitations from colleagues to lose weight successfully, so go ahead and get involved. But you should choose what you should eat and drink carefully when you eat out regularly. Choose the smallest portions you can and get familiar with the menus at local restaurants so you can plan what to eat in advance. Even fast food establishments now have healthier options but remember that it is often the most fattening extras – spices, sanitary napkins and sugary drinks or milk can be.t more than double the calories in food.