Office snacking can be difficult to avoid especially if the break room is filled with snacks, a co-worker has a fully stocked candy jar or someone from accounting is a fantastic baker and brings in the most irresistible baked goods. How do you handle the urge to overindulge and make sure you stay on track with your health goals? Let’s look at what causes us to overindulge in the first place.

Why we feel tempted to overindulge

We can wind up snacking at the office for a variety of reasons. Some of us may turn to food when we are stressed, anxious, or tired. When you know a stressful conference call or meeting is coming up you may find yourself wandering off to the breakroom. Others may turn to food just because it’s within reach and they’re distracted by something else. For example, while chatting at the watercooler you may find yourself grabbing a pack of M&M’s even though you’re not necessarily hungry. This is considered mindless eating. Whether it’s emotional, stress-related or mindless eating -understanding your triggers and planning ahead can help you resist the temptation.

Pre-pack your meals the night before 

The first tip to help you avoid the temptation to overindulge is to plan ahead. Pack yourself a healthy lunch and a healthy snack. You are less likely to crave another snack if you finish your lunch break feeling satisfied. For meal ideas, click here.

Stay hydrated

Sometimes our body mistakes hunger signals for thirst. Even a mild case of dehydration can lead to cravings. If you suddenly feel hungry after having lunch and a snack, make sure you are hydrated. One way to avoid dehydration is to bring your water bottle and refill it at the watercooler to help keep those cravings at bay. 

Have sugar-free mints/gum handy

Sucking on sugar-free mints or chewing minty gum can help. Studies show that an ingredient in mint helps suppress cravings. When your mouth feels clean, you are less likely to want to eat.

Try an office health drive

Finally, try enlisting your co-workers to join a health journey.  Start a walking lunch group or talk to someone about having healthy snacks in the break room to choose from. Involve your co-workers in your healthier snack ideas and you can all benefit.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to help with meal planning, call us at 908-481-1270.

 

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    By: Karen Kelly, R.D.

    Registered dietitian Karen Kelly is available for nutrition counseling every Tuesday in our Springfield and Hoboken locations. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and the College of Saint Elizabeth where she received her registered dietitian degree. Karen found her true calling by helping people make better nutrition choices to improve their health. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association, the New Jersey Dietetic Association, Nutrition Entrepreneurs, Nutrition in Complementary Care as well as Sports and Cardiovascular Nutrition.

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