It’s so easy to let your mind wonder to food during a long day at work.
Whether you’re overwhelmed and stressed, bored, procrastinating or simply following your colleagues’ lead, it’s easy to fall into an unhealthy snacking habit.
Pretzels, crackers, chocolate, biscuits, crisps and even takeaways: The food and snack culture in an office environment can be a nightmare for someone trying to diet.
Try the following tips to curb excess snacking at work.
Try paying attention to your internal signals of fullness.
When you feel like snacking, think hard about whether you are genuinely hungry or not. You may not really be hungry, in which case forget the snack idea.
But is your belly truly rumbling? Then eat something healthy! I don't need to tell you that crisps, chocolates are not a great choice. Opt for low sugar, low fat, and low calorie foods.
Sounds simple enough – if they’re not there you can’t have them, so stop bringing snacks into work.
You need to control your environment which could only be hindering your efforts and best intentions.
If you read the back of a packet of biscuits you might think twice before tucking into one… after another.
Many can have over 100 calories per biscuit and can quickly make you put on the pounds.
It’s no good if you have a small, carb-based breakfast at 7am before leaving for the office, then a sandwich at noon and schedule dinner at 8pm.
If you tend to have dinner late, try to put off breakfast and lunch until later, such as 9am and 2pm.
Make sure you have a sensible, not too-long, gap between your main meals and try to add lots of healthy protein into each one to feel fuller for longer.
Sipping water throughout the day will stop your belly feeling empty before lunch and towards the end of the day.
That’s not to say if you’re really hungry you shouldn’t eat: You absolutely should.
Simply, the action of drinking an ample amount of water at regular intervals will fill your belly so you know you’re not mistaking thirst for hunger – which is all too common.
A time-tested tip: When you feel like snacking but you know you’re not actually hungry, go brush your teeth.
The taste of mint will put you off that packet of crisps and the feeling of freshness should be quite satisfying.
If you’re bored or feel like procrastinating you can refresh your mind by stepping away from your desk for a second.
Try standing and walking around the office - find something that needs mailing or collecting perhaps just to get a breather.
It’s also healthy to walk around a bit rather than stay sitting all day.
…But that doesn’t stop colleagues bringing them in and tucking into them every half an hour.
The sight or sound of them snacking might make you want to grab something too. But remember why you’re reading this article. Perhaps you know snacking too much is an issue for you.
When you see your co-workers reaching for a chocolate, envision your goal and intention and remember just because you work as a team that doesn’t mean you need to snack as a team too.
If you feel overwhelmed at work it’s easy to turn to food for comfort. But there are much better ways to battle workplace stresses than with a muffin from the coffee shop.
Try keeping a mindfulness book or stress balls at your desk.
Could you step outside for five minutes of fresh air? That would be even better.
Do you feel like snacking because you're upset over something?
Writing a journal can be a relief on your feelings, or perhaps you can talk to a colleague you trust about your issue.
Remember, food solves no problems except genuine hunger.