I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic. Luckily, I am able to be satisfied with one or two Hershey Kisses, but fill my M & M jar, and I’m in trouble. Forget those vending machines that require exact change in the workplace. In the home office, you have a full refrigerator/freezer and pantry cupboard to deal with!
If you suffer from “mood eating” or over-snacking at your desk, you are not alone. Many women crave high carbohydrate foods and sweets at various times. While you may not feel you have any control over these cravings, you actually do. If you consider what is called “mindful eating” and do a little planning, you can overcome overeating sweets.
Here are some simple steps to get you started:
1. Out of sight, out of mind. If you really can’t control yourself (like me with the M & Ms), don’t have that food available in your home office, or at least limit the quantity. Buy one small (key word: small) bag and enjoy it, then move on to a healthy snack.
2. Plan ahead. Don’t expect yourself to make a reasonable decision about snack choices when you are busy working, especially if you are stressed trying to finish a big project or meet a deadline. If you “think” about what you will need to eat today before you are stressed out, you can easily eat the right foods.
3. Drink lots of water. Sometimes when our bodies are thirsty, we may feel hungry. Keep a water bottle or large glass of ice water nearby while you work. Take a stretch break and grab a bottle of water to take back to your office.
4. Eat your fruit. Fruit has fructose in it, a natural sugar. Fruit also provides us with loads of healthy phytochemicals (substances that promote health and are disease preventing) and fiber. If you plan to eat two or three pieces of fruit through your day, you will help curb those sugar cravings.
5. Include some lean protein in your snacks. Protein sticks with us longer and can help curb snacking throughout the day.
Here are some quick and healthy snacks to put into place now:
1. Set out 3 pieces of fruit on your counter in the morning. When between meal hunger hits, go get one until they’re gone.
2. Stock up on some high fiber, low fat easy to eat snacks like low fat granola or cereal bars. Check the labels for calories per serving and fat content.
3. Keep low fat string cheese in the refrigerator. Drink a glass of skim milk with your cereal bar to add some calcium and protein. Try a low fat yogurt everyday for an afternoon pick-me-up. Including dairy in your daily diet may help your body burn fat and help you lose weight.