Snacking isn’t a choice: it’s a part of office culture.
We’ve all been there. Crumbs on the desk, sticky keyboards, and greasy fingers are all common byproducts of the guilt ridden late afternoon snack binge. It’s hard to avoid the convenience of unhealthy pretzels, chocolates, and potato chips so conveniently located in the office pantry. The fight doesn’t stop when eager co-workers nudge you to take the last breakfast sandwich or guilt you into a slice of chocolate birthday cake.
Luckily, you’ve got it all under control. Everything you decide to do or eat is inside of your control. There’s more to life than stressing about your weight or contemplating what to eat next every second of the day. Planning can help you adopt healthier snacking habits by providing simple rules and guidelines to follow. Take control and find peace of mind by knowing you are not alone – just ask that other guy at the snack bar. So don’t worry. Eventually, your hard work and practice will snowball into a thoughtless habit and routine.
Become your new favourite Cook
No one knows you better than you. Become a cook. Make meal prepping your new part-time hobby. It’ll help you turn down the unfruitful things around you and help you have more appreciation for the meals you not only prepare, but also love. Smashed chickpea avocado salad, stuffed pita sandwich, baked salmon with veggies, or even a simple burrito bowl – the list goes on. Don’t be afraid to get creative – sometimes being healthy means being different. You can also bring your own snacks such as carrots with hummus, peanut butter and banana, or even your own stash of nuts to supplement your nutritious creations. Portion your meals accordingly to prevent overeating.
Nutrition that tastes good
One rule of thumb I like to stand by is eating wholesome nutrient dense foods. Try to avoid seemingly healthy juices and nutrition bars that are loaded with calories and sugar. Keep an eye on high fibre and protein to give you sustainable energy throughout the day and to avoid those awful sugar crashes. Gear away from the default bag of chips and toward the light of health. Nourish your body with fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Packing and bringing your own fruit is always an option along with a side of hummus, greek yogurt, or peanut butter. Keeping smartly portioned snacks while traveling can also help you curb hunger and fight that greasy burger that is oh so asking for a burnout.
Change your mind
Take this time to learn more about how to eat holistically and give your body the attention it deserves. Change your mentality about food and make it about your health. Divorce the default and know that you don’t have to sacrifice taste for nutrition. Mindfulness is one of the best practices to combat any unhealthy habit. Plan a walk break rather than a snack break. Take deep breaths and calm your mind before ripping open that granola bar. Reflect on what is causing your anxiety and food attacks rather than blaming and hurting yourself with guilt and shame.
Water yourself, frequently
The human body is composed 60% of water. Most of the time when you are lurching for that bag of pretzels, it’s rooted from thirst, not hunger. Snack cravings can easily be satiated with a calm mind and a glass of cold water. Make it a habit to get away from the desk and refill your cup often. Enjoy the walk and remember you’re cleaning your body from the inside out.
It’s easy to overeat in the office when we’re constantly in a sedentary crunch in front of the computer. However our muscles are designed to burn food, so it’s a good idea to plan to exercise before or after work with a friend or trainer. Feel more energised and productive at work by investing in a healthier and happier you.
Encourage your workplace to offer healthier food such as snacks that add value, not just empty calories. Keep in mind snacking to curb your hunger isn’t necessarily a bad thing although mindless stress eating can be. With stubborn practice and personal determination, these guidelines become second nature. Willpower is a muscle that can be strengthened with exercise and use so exercise often.
Christin Lee is a yoga instructor, entrepreneur, and lifestyle blogger living in NYC with a passion for universal human rights. She currently writes for InsiderEnvy a site focused on travel, health, and eye care.