DO your work colleagues often bring in cakes and biscuits to share?
Do you have a little snack drawer under your desk? Do you find yourself drinking a million cups of milky, sugary tea a day because someone’s making a round?
For most of us office workers, the answers are yes, yes and yes – so it’s no surprise that our work is making us fat.
A recent study conducted by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention found that on average, people consumed 1,300 extra calories from food including pizza, cakes, soft drink and biscuits each week at work.
That’s almost like eating an entire extra days’ worth of food.
So, how can we curb our work-time snacking?
Well, you might want to first identify what and why you’re eating during the day.
Reason 1: You’re bored
Solution: Keep low-calorie snacks close to hand
Work can be super boring and nothing fills the aching gap between 9am and 5pm quite like a nice array of tasty snacks.
While it might be hard to do away with boredom grazing, you can change what you graze on.
Keep your desk drawer full of healthy treats like nut butters, chopped veg, fresh fruit or low-calorie fruit bars.
You could also download something like MyFitnessPal which allows you to track what you’ve eaten.
Once you see how much you’re consuming mindlessly on a daily basis, you migth start to double-think whether you really need a digestive with every cup of coffee or not.
Reason 2: There’s free food lying around
Solution: Keep snack foods in cupboards or kitchen areas – not on desks
If it’s free, it doesn’t count – right? Wrong.
Grazing on free grub that’s lying around is the reason so many of us are overeating on a daily basis at work.
The solution is to push for communal snacks to be kept out of sight or in kitchen areas, rather than on your desk.
That way, people will have to get up and walk over to get a snack (which might put some off) and you won’t just have to reach over for a biccie.
Reason 3: You eat when others eat
Solution: Create your own meals and set times to eat them
It’s so tempting to have a snack if the person next to you is having one, let alone the entire office.
But the more you snack, the more your body will start to expect a feeding at odd times.
Try to create your own specific meal times and stick to them. It doesn’t have to mean only eating three times a day – it could be that you schedule in times for healthy snacks.
Reason 4: You’re thirsty
Solution: Keep a bottle or glass with you to fill up throughout the day
They say that up to 70 per cent of adults are dehydrated.
Not having enough water can make you think that you’re hungry when actually, you desperately need to take on more fluid.
We need to be drinking at least two litres of fluid a day, so make sure you’re regularly going up to the tap to refill your glass or bottle.
Reason 5: You eat in front of the computer
Solution: Take a proper lunch break
We’re all super busy and it’s really tempting to eat your lunch at your desk.
But by not concentrating on what you’re eating, your stomach takes longer to realise that it’s full. In fact, it takes about 20 minutes for the body to register that it’s eaten enough – and if you’re not tuned in to eating in the first place, that can take a lot longer.
Take your lunch break – it’s literally your legal right.
Even better, go for a walk before you have your lunch to get those steps in and then enjoy your meal.
Reason 6: You’re eating too much sugar
Solution: Try to cut down on the white stuff
Eating sugary snacks is what brings offices together. The tray bakes. The biscuits. The chocolate boxes.
But all that sugar can send our blood glucose levels soaring – and soon after come crashing down.
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Not only can that leave us feeling tired and flat but it also makes us more hungry.
Rather than nibbling on Hobnobs all day, try to make sure you have whole food snacks on hand – packed with fats and proteins to keep you fuller for longer.
Keep a pot of Greek yoghurt in the fridge, or make sure you’ve got a jar of nut butter in your drawer to have with some oat cakes.
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