10 Tips to Avoid Office Snacking Temptation  

Check out the picture over there. It was taken in the kitchen on my floor at work, and is pretty representative of what I have to contend with on a daily basis. And it doesn't even show you the fridge full of soda and sugary juices, as well as "low-fat" (read: HFCS-laden) yogurts. Apparently the fires of endless corporate meetings are best stoked with shovelfuls of coffee and petite almond rolls.

Temptation is everywhere; something never more apparent than to a person being newly mindful of what they eat. The place of work is notorious for pushing these temptations through availability, set hours of confinement, and the camaraderie that can be experienced by tearing into a platter of bagels like a pack of famished lions. After many months of not constantly overloading my body with sugary treats, I'm happy to report that their hold on me has greatly waned. Not to say that I live a sugar-free life, nor have I fallen deaf to the Siren song of Krispy Kremes. For those times I pull from the below arsenal of weapons against the scourge of office (or any tempting) junk food.

Water - Have a glass or two. You'd be surprised how often and how well thirst is masked as hunger or a sugar craving. Down 8-20ozs of the clear stuff and relish in knowing that you've simultaneously done some good and withheld some bad from your body.

Brush Your Teeth - Not only does this provide a great diversion from drooling over the last apple fritter, it takes advantage of the fact that nothing is quite as appealing while the taste of toothpaste lingers on your tongue.

Defy Your Programming - Back in the early days of man, things usually went in one of two directions: feast or famine. While I would like to think that we have evolved beyond that, somewhere deep inside of us still lives a part of that opportunistic cave dweller. Recognize this as you find yourself wanting to completely destroy or over-indulge in the abundance at catered events, corporate luncheons, and office pot lucks. There is so much food and it stays out for so long; remind yourself the lack of need for such excess, and that a healthier opportunity will likely present itself within due course of the day.

Ban Boredom Binging - (bad alliteration still OK) So often eating is a byproduct of boredom. Occupy yourself elsewhere with an activity or project that gets your mind off of that which tempts you (note: may not be as effective if temptation is boss's hot daughter).

Fruit or Veggies, Nuts and Protein - For those times that you really are hungry, opt for a healthy snack instead. The protein in nuts and lean meats is sure to keep you sated longer than a maple bar, as will the fiber in fruits and veggies. Bonus: no blood sugar crash that will have you reaching for more of the same.

Make it Known - Sometimes you have to cut it off at the source. If one of your common temptations is a co-worker or client that likes to bring you treats as a sign of appreciation, you may be inclined to always accept for the sake of their feelings. Then you’re forced to deal with that "thank you Toblerone" mocking you from the bowels of your desk like the telltale heart, appealing to your sense of instant gratification with its nonstop beat of rich chocolaty decadence until you can't manage any longer and tear it from the confines of its drawered prison, inhaling it in 30 seconds flat. Trust me, I've seen it happen a million times.* The only solution here is to voice your healthy intentions and then politely decline. You'd be surprised how many are outwardly supportive of your positive change, even if it leaves them crushed and heartbroken on the inside.

Give In - That's right, I said it. Every now and then it's OK to partake in the goody badness. If you find it works better for you then plan it out. Your monthly department meeting is always catered by the best German bakery in town? Let that be the one occasion your defenses drop, and have a guten old time with it.

Perspective - Your average glazed donut, for example, has 20g of sugar. This is equivalent to ingesting 5 tablespoons of pure sugar, or approximately 20 of those little single serving packets of it. Grab 20 of those bad boys and lay them next to that donut and tell me you still want it.

Find a Buddy - Working the buddy system is an awesome tool for any eating (or non-eating) plan, as well as the accountability that comes with it. If you're feeling particularly weak in the face of so many delectables, call up your buddy and ask them to cool you off. Or conversely, call them after defeating temptation to share in your triumph.

Maim Yourself - At this point, if tips 1-9 did you no good, the only other thing I could possibly suggest is to reach for the nearest letter opener or mechanical pencil and embed it into your thigh. A couple of well-placed staples on the side of your ribs will likely do the trick as well. This should keep you too busy applying pressure and writhing in pain to give much thought to whatever it was that drove you to this particular brand of madness.

* At least once or twice

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6 Reasons to Live

  • Crystal  
    July 16, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    2 glasses of water?? that is like 91 gallons of water a year!!

    think about the environment!!!!

    you inability to control your lusty food addiction is depleting our natural resources!!!

  • Jay  
    July 16, 2008 at 3:01 PM

    And what of the countless acres of cotton fields ravaged annually to produce the material in just one of your bras?

  • Christie  
    July 16, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    I would like to add "have sex" to that list, since it can be considered exercise and therefore healthy.

    **and I mean with me, not the office whore**

  • The Grunt  
    July 16, 2008 at 11:42 PM

    My solution is to eat it and go back to work. If I do find myself in an office job I am done for. Gone will be the days of carefree indulgence.

  • AJ  
    July 18, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    this is why I cut off my hands... we have a "donut cake party" every hour on the hour over here. Boo to them and my butt for getting bigger than it already was before I started as said job.

    Thanks for the tips! That water one actually works :)

  • Ryan  
    August 5, 2008 at 2:58 PM

    I've gone the route of soldering my hands to my chest. The upside is my legs are very flexible from opening the fridge with my feet.

    The downside is that people constantly think I am aghast.

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