Office eating is tricky if you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet. Do you bring your lunch or purchase take-away items daily? Eat in the kitchen/cafeteria or at your desk? How do you survive the baked goods around the holidays and coworkers’ birthdays without becoming pre-diabetic?
Use these tips to navigate the seemingly harmless unhealthy choices you’re met with when eating at work.
Don’t eat at your desk.
Yes, you are busy and need to get things done, but eating at your desk is a detriment to a healthy diet because you’re not paying attention to your food and are more likely to overeat and less likely to get up and move around. Likewise, if you do get called away from your meal, it could become a vacuum for bacteria and germs.
Just say “no.”
Those baked goods and candy dishes that coworkers put out are so thoughtful, but they become our worst enemies when we’re trying to avoid sweets. Try blocking those temptations, visually — studies show the “out of sight, out of mind” strategy actually works. Avoid walking by the desk with the candy, and readjust your cubicle so that you can’t see those distractions. Also, work on just telling people no when it comes to office birthday cake.
Prepare your lunch in advance.
Not only will you make healthier choices — hello, side of broccoli and hummus, instead of french fries or potato chips! — but you’ll save more money per meal by making your food at home. Health.com states that eating out even one day a week will make you lose 5 pounds less on average than if you brought your lunch every day.
Beware of desk snacks.
Just as we avoid the office baked goods and candy, we need to avoid the vending machines. Sadly, even desk chocolate can trigger poor eating choices. (Don’t ask us what happened to the Lindt truffles that we bought on Aug. 5 — they were gone by Aug. 12.) Again, preparing snacks will help you make healthier choices.