9 surefire ways to beat back the breakroom bulge
One in four US workers gets junk food – birthday cake and snack food – at work, adding up to 2 pounds of extra body fat per month!
“Maybe a slice of your co-worker’s birthday cake jumped onto your plate while you grabbed a coffee in the break room,” Health + Wellness newsletter out of Cheshire Medical Center worries (on your behalf). Or maybe you ate one too many bagels with cream cheese while slogging through that early morning meeting.
It’s tough to make healthy food choices at work. According to H+W (which offers an entire website of useful health info), one of four American workers get free junk food at work regularly. Cake, pastries, soda. Sound familiar? That’s two more pounds of extra body fat per month to work off – or not, as the case may be.
Perhaps these nine H+W suggestions will help you fight off the “Freshman 15”.
- Eat breakfast – preferably protein. It aids in weight loss, supports brain function, and will cut your snack cravings before lunch.
- Stay hydrated. Even if that means filling 3 water bottles and keeping them at your desk so you drink them throughout the day, it will not only help you feel more alert, but it will cut down on thirst cues that are often confused with hunger.
- Step away from your desk. 83% of Americans say they snack at their desks while working. Instead of falling into this trap, take a small break and eat mindfully to feel more satiated.
- Be prepared. Bring your own nuts, apples, bananas, hard-boiled eggs as snacks – and eat them before you walk into the break room or a catered meeting.
- Ask for healthier food at meetings. You may be pleasantly surprised at how many of your co-workers feel better eating fruit salad instead of cookies and swapping tangerines for donut holes. You can also suggest a food rotation for meetings and set a great example by bringing delicious, healthy food when it’s your turn.
- Swap fruit for candy. Many offices offer an ever-tempting candy bowl which can be replaced by bananas, tangerines, and apples for a similar cost – but whoever fills the bowl needs to know you want something better.
- Bag it up. Studies show individual snack packs cut down free food consumption, so ask to ditch the unlimited sugary cereal supply for single-serve boxes to keep your servings in check.
- Keep them separated. A study also showed putting snacks or cake in a different place than the coffee and water lowered grazing significantly.
- Start a health committee. It is much easier and more fun to become healthier together, and you have a better chance of creating a culture shift across your entire workplace.