Conquering Cubicle Cravings
Compulsive snacking at work can torpedo even the most well thought-out diet plans. While you might be able to plan and stick to a daily meal plan, it may be more difficult to avoid the temptation of break room donuts or to break your addiction to your 3 o’clock sugar fix. Consider these strategies when trying to free yourself from unwanted calories:
Make sure you aren’t starving yourself at breakfast and lunch.
When people are looking to make a change, they will sometimes drastically cut back on their caloric intake at meals, which leads to hunger pangs and the inevitable failure of their plan to eat better. Eat balanced, nutrient-rich meals at breakfast and lunch that will sate your appetite and give your body the nutrients it needs to get through the day.
Identify snacking rituals.
While some of us might mindlessly snack with no rhyme or reason, many of us have snacking rituals, such at the 9 o’clock soda or the 3 o’clock candy bar. Identify the cause of your ritual and see if you can cease it altogether or substitute for it with a healthier option, such as a cup of black coffee for the soda or a handful of unsweetened nuts and fruit for the candy bar.
You can’t eat the candy bar or the soda if you don’t buy it, right? Make smart choices with your food purchases. Don’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry and don’t even think about walking down the aisle with candy and cookies.
Make sure you’re hydrated.
You might be conflating your body’s signals that you need more water with a sensation of hunger. For most of us, there’s always room for more water in our daily diets. Drinking a tall glass of water before a meal can also help bring a feeling of fullness sooner, helping you eat a more sensible amount at mealtime. Bored by water? Try black coffee or unsweetened teas, or add sliced fruit and herbs to your water for some more flavor.
Avoid “bore” gut.
Similar to the idea of the beer gut, eating because you’re bored can cause you to get a bore gut. If you find yourself thinking about a snack, try starting a task that you know will take you a half an hour; you might find that the distraction was all you needed to get through the desire to eat that sleeve of crackers. Likewise, if you’re procrastinating on a task, don’t use a snack as further reason to delay your progress!
Food brings us comfort, which is a good thing, but unfortunately we fall into the habit of using food as our stress medication. Take a fifteen-minute walk or something even more physical if your work environment can accommodate it.