U.S. Embassy New Delhi, Flickr
Though Thanksgiving and the December holidays get the worst rep for packing on the pounds with all the stuffing, gingerbread, sugar plumbs (though does anyone actually eat those?) and heck there is just more dough of all forms available to us, it starts with Halloween. After all, Halloween is the holiday that encourages you to eat candy at 9 in the morning – have you ever tried Pixie Stix with coffee? It’s life-changing.
There is no doubt that one, if not a few, of your coworkers will bring in multiple sugary treats for you to indulge in and there will be even more temptation waiting for you when you leave the office. So how do you stay healthy (relatively)? We talked to some experts including Dave Asprey, Founder of Bulletproof, the leading food, beverage, and content company starting the smart fat-for-fuel movement, and came up with a few bonafide tips.
Stop sugar cravings with high fat meals
Asprey says carbs in general (not just sugar) cause a glucose spike and crash that leaves you with cravings a short while later. High-quality fat, on the other hand, will give you steady energy and keep you full for hours, which makes it much easier to avoid sugar. Some suggestions: throw a grass-fed ribeye on the grill, drown it in butter and roast up some brussels sprouts on the side or sear a piece of sockeye salmon with lemon dill butter sauce and pair it with bacon-cauliflower mash.
Try not to come to work hungry
Just like you shouldn’t go to the grocery store hungry, you also shouldn’t come to work starving. If you skip breakfast, you will end up convincing yourself that eating a bag of candy corn at 10 AM is absolutely fine.
Curb sugar cravings with supplements
Asprey suggests use brain octane oil to suppress appetite and cravings by curbing your hunger hormones. The brain-boosting fat, extracted from the most potent part of the coconut, is converted into brain-fueling, fat-burning ketone energy. Mix it into your morning coffee to help power your brain and body for lasting energy with fewer cravings.
Also try Unfair Advantage, which makes your existing mitochondria more efficient and supports the growth of new ones. Your mitochondria are the owner plants of your cells; when they work better, you have more willpower and energy. That can go a long way for curbing cravings! Both supplements are available at Whole Foods nationwide, as well as on Amazon.com and Bulletproof.com.
Remove yourself from the candy area
If the bowl of Hershey’s is near you ask politely if it can be moved or see if you can move to another part of the office. If you have to turn on noise blocking headphones so you don’t hear candy wrappers then so be it. Some of the time you don’t even want the candy, it’s just because you see it that you automatically eat it.
A four-week study conducted by Cornell University found that 40 secretaries who participated ate an average of 3.1 Hershey’s Kisses a day from an opaque, covered office candy bowl. But when the candy was put within clear view, in a transparent glass bowl, each secretary consumed an average of 2.5 more pieces a day. Slide that dish within reach of their desks, and the secretaries added another 2.1 candies to the daily intake, for a total of 7.7 pieces.
Aim For Progress, Not Perfection
Asprey says don’t beat yourself up if you slip. Keep in mind that sugar is like a drug – it lights up the reward and craving centers in your brain, and you fall into withdrawal when you start to cut it from your diet. You’re rewiring your brain to be stronger. It’s a process. Be patient with yourself.
Make your own healthier treats
Make your own chocolate recipes that can give you lasting energy and leave you feeling great. He suggests the Chocolate Truffle (recipe below):
- 1 cup Cacao Powder
- 1/2 cup Bulletproof Cacao Butter
- 1/2 cup birch xylitol, powdered
- 2 tbsp. Brain Octane Oil
- 1 tbsp. gelatinized maca
- 1 tsp. He Shou Wu
- 1 tsp. Epimedium
- 1 tsp. Cistanche
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Melt your cacao butter in a double-boiler
- Powder your xylitol
- Whisk in Brain Octane and herbs
- Pour into chocolate molds and freeze until solid