Deadline pressures and birthday parties can make it difficult to stick to your diet at work. These are some changes you can make in your eating patterns and other activities that will help you avoid putting on extra pounds from nine to five.
1. Stay full. It’s easier to resist temptation when you’re free from hunger pangs. Start each day with a nutritious breakfast. Make time for lunch and snacks. As a bonus, you’ll also feel more alert and energetic.
2. Stock up on healthy snacks. If the vending machines are full of candy and crackers, you can provide your own treats. Store yogurt and baby carrots in the office refrigerator or in your own freezable portable lunch pack. Keep a bowl of nuts on your desk.
3. Drink water. Carry a steel water bottle with you to sip water throughout the day. You’ll feel full while consuming fewer calories.
4. Eat mindfully. Sitting down to eat helps you become more aware of your food. Chew slowly and pause between bites.
5. Focus on conversation. Birthday parties and other gatherings are great for getting to know your colleagues better. Switch your attention to socializing, so you’ll forget about multiple trips to the buffet table or cake platter.
6. Bring in healthy potluck dishes. Sign up to bring in a delicious green salad or chili. It will make a nice break from the usual cheesy casseroles and chips.
7. Advocate for healthy fare. If you’re planning the menu for office functions, serve steel-cut oats for breakfast or fish for lunch. Collect take-out menus from local ethnic restaurants for balanced meals that may cost even less than super-sized sandwiches.
8. Suggest happy hour alternatives. You can still get together with your colleagues after work. Organize a softball league or volunteer as a group at a food kitchen if you’re looking for more ideas than drinking beer.
9. Share the goodies. If vendors send you ten-pound boxes of chocolate every December, put them out in the kitchen or lobby immediately. You’ll make friends fast.
10. Put on a sweater. Evolution has designed our bodies to seek food when we feel chilly. A sweater will help you deal with excessive air conditioning.
11. Manage stress. Alleviating stress reduces the risk of overeating. Listen to instrumental music or take deep breaths while you work.
12. Squeeze in some exercise. Burn more calories. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Visit the gym before work or learn exercises that you can do in your chair.
13. Get adequate sleep. A well-rested body digests food more efficiently. Individual needs vary. Experiment to find the right amount for you and develop a consistent schedule.
14. Brush your teeth. Brushing and flossing is one simple way to discourage eating more than you intended. Put together a small dental kit for your desk drawer or purse. For times when it’s impossible to brush, chewing sugar-free gum provides some of the same benefits.
15. Enlist support. Since so many people struggle with overweight issues, you’re likely to find support among your colleagues. Ask your human resources department about employee wellness programs.
Creating a culture of health has been proven to be good for productivity and fosters better health. What’s good for your career can be good for your waistline too. Planning ahead makes it easier to eat sensibly during the workday and taking care of your overall health increases your chances of success in every aspect of life.