The office is a difficult place to be. It’s mid afternoon, and you’re crashing. It’s only Tuesday. There’s still 4 days to go, including the rest of today. You look over at the place where all the team snacks are. You’re craving something sweet, or something salty. Maybe even both. Oh, and maybe a hot chocolate to go with it. Extra cream, of course.
You know that this needs to stop. You did the same thing yesterday, and you were meant to be eating better yesterday, because it was a Monday. You promised yourself after the amount of food you had at the weekend that this week would be better, and it was all going well until mid afternoon. That’s when the cravings started.
Don’t worry, we have you covered. Here’s our top 7 tips on how to avoid reaching for junk food in the office:
1. Eat your breakfast and lunch. If you skip a meal, either breakfast, lunch, or both, you’re more likely to reach for junk food in the office. The reason for this is simple: you’re hungry. And the easiest thing to have in that moment is the junk food next to your desk. A couple of cakes and a hot drink can have the same, or even more, calories than a proper lunch, and it won’t be good for you nutritionally. Every day, make sure you eat breakfast at home before you leave for work, and pack a lunch. It doesn’t always have to be healthy (obviously if it’s healthier, it’s better!), but it will be better than processed sugars, and high fat content that usually comes from junk food.
2. Drink water. Often, when we think we’re hungry, we’re not. We’re thirsty. Drinking plenty of water helps to boost your metabolism, and is a natural appetite suppressant. Replace high calorie drinks (think hot chocolates, high calorie coffees, and fruit juices!) with water, and aim for 2 litres per day. Water also helps with workouts, so if you’re exercising that day, you’ll get a better workout if you’ve had more water.
3. Tell everyone about your goals. If the rest of your colleagues know about your goals, hopefully they’ll support you by keeping the junk food away from you, or buy some healthy alternatives to support you. We may be afraid to tell our colleagues because we’re scared of being judged. But we’d be surprised of how much other people get behind you once they know what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it.
4. Sleep properly. Sleep is one of the most underrated factors when it comes to maintaining a healthy body weight. If you don’t sleep well, you’re less likely to exercise the next day, and more likely to overeat. This is because of two hormones, ghrelin, and leptin. Aim for 7 hours of sleep a day, and make sure you have a proper routine before bed for quality sleep. This will help you to fight off the junk food in the office the next day.
5. Manage your stress. Stress and unhealthy eating usually go together. When you start to feel stressed, get up from your computer, and take a walk. Go to the toilet, go and get a glass or water, or even take a quick 5 minute walk outside. Every day, make sure you take a lunch of some sort – go for a quick walk outside, or even try and do some exercise to de-stress. Reducing your stress levels usually means less snacking.
6. Pack snacks for the day. We all get hungry throughout the day, so it’s important to bring some snacks to work with you, so you’re less likely to snack on junk food in the office. Fruit, nuts, protein shake, rice cakes, baked crisps, carrots and hummus, and dark chocolate are some are examples here.
7. Change the status quo. If it’s usually one of the team (including yourself) bringing in the snacks at work, why not change the status quo and bring in healthy snacks for the team instead? Usually, when the snacks are unhealthy, there are people complaining how unhealthy all of the food is, so you’d be doing them a favour too. Fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, dried fruit, rice cakes, baked crisps, and protein bites are examples here.
We know that the office is a difficult place to be, and it’s easy to reach for junk food when you’re feeling low in energy, or stressed. However, does it really help? Use the 7 tips on how to avoid reaching for junk food in the office to overcome the daily routine, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier and happier life.
I’m Ravi – a qualified personal trainer and fitness blogger, who teaches people how to transform their bodies and lives through fitness and nutrition. I’m also the CEO of Sports Samurai, an online store selling high quality gym bags and backpacks – you don’t want to miss these, so click the link. Feel free to like us on Facebook here for more articles, tips, and product information.