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Thursday, August 16, 2012

5 Tips on How to Avoid the Office Junk Food

Does this photo remind you of your office?
Photo by Ben Sutherland on Flickr
It seems to be everywhere. In the kitchen. On your neighbor's desk. Just an arm's length away from where you sit. In a little dish setting out as you walk from one end of the office to the other. Let's face it, office junk food is ubiquitous -- and that isn't going to change.

There will always be a birthday. There will always be a time that the boss wants to buy lunch for the office. There will always be that one co-worker who loves to bake her famous brownies to share with everybody. There will always be that one person who keeps a candy dish filled to the brim at all times. And let's not forget the occasional office meal collaboration  -- there will always be a pot luck.

Sounds a little defeating, I know. But the good news is you don't have to give into the temptation. Follow these tips below and become a master at avoiding the office junk.

1. Reduce sugar intake in general. Believe it or not, sugar is like a drug. Research has shown that it is as addictive as cocaine. The more sugar you eat, the more you'll crave it throughout the day. Cut down on your overall sugar intake and it'll be easier to avoid sugary temptations as they come up.

2. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes you may just be hungry and if that's the case you can about bet that you will have zero will power for avoiding treats. For starters, make sure you aren't skipping any meals. Then try adding an additional piece of fruit or serving of vegetables to every meal. The fiber will help you feel full and satisfied for longer periods of time.

3. Come prepared for battle. Every day that you go to work, assume there will be some delicious treat waiting on you, to test your skills of resistance. If you're prepared ahead of time, you have time to get your mind right to deal with temptations. Being caught off guard will almost always result in you giving in.   You might even do well all day avoiding the munchies, and find yourself at the end of the day sneaking a piece of chocolate from the candy dish. Tell yourself, "no," before setting foot in the office. This way, when you do see the goodies, it's easier to resist.

4. Have a healthy snack food stash at your desk. If you have other options available to you, you're less likely to find yourself eating unhealthy food. Keep some nuts, and easy to store fruit, like apples, at your desk. When you find yourself feeling weak, have one of your healthy snacks. Sure, it may not taste like a donut, but you'll feel full and any craving you might have had will be reduced.

5. Get comfortable with saying, no thank-you. One of the hardest things to do is to stare at a plate of freshly made brownies being offered to your face by a co-worker, and say, "no." Not only do you feel rude, but look at those brownies, how do you resist that? When this happens, keep your goals in mind and keep them a priority. Ask yourself, "Is this worth it? Is this brownie worth me putting my goals aside?" It's not worth it. Just politely decline and say, "no thank-you." It may take some adjusting, but over time it will get easier.

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