Cookies. Cake. Latkes. Donuts. This time of year, it seems like every office is crowded with more snacks than usual. Because they are. Between corporate gifts and holiday parties, it can be hard to avoid.
We know that they call it the watercooler, but with all the chips and cookies luring, how can you be sociable at work without constantly pigging out?
Ryan Frankel, the CEO/Founder EduPlated.com, a new app that helps to match dieters with dietitians, had some ideas on how to keep eating under control during the munchiest time of the year.
1. Set yourself up for success
If you assume you’re going to give into the endless temptation, you probably will. Frankel says to “Start each day with a hearty breakfast consisting of lean protein such as eggs or Greek yogurt.” He also says that stuffing yourself with “Carbohydrate alternatives like cereal and white toast only spike your blood sugar and inevitably results in the munchies not long after you eat them.”
Another great thing to keep in mind is that if you’ve already satisfied your sweet tooth, you might spend less time noshing on junk food. Remember to have a big breakfast the day of your office lunch party so you’ll be less prone to eat anything and everything that comes your way.
2. Avoid temptation
Frankel said “The best prevention against pigging out is avoiding temptation.” To that end “Don’t stash candy, chips, and other snack items assuming you’ll have the willpower to avoid them. When those mid-afternoon yawns come rolling around, you may not have the willpower to opt for a healthier alternative.”
So, don’t stockpile candy, just be smart and let your coworkers keep the extras.
While you’re at it, you might also want to keep a healthier trail mix in your desk for some advance fueling and to keep your sweet tooth satisfied with fruits and and protein rich nuts.
3. Start your day well, invest in physical fitness
If at all possible, try to start your day with an exercise boost. Frankel says to “Go for a jog, swim laps, hit the weight room and stay active. Exercise revs the metabolism and a healthy metabolism is an important component to one’s wellness goals.”
If you’re not a gym bunny or are having a particularly busy week at work, think small. Get off the train one stop before you usually do, or park a few blocks away from the office. Walk up or down even a single flight of stairs before catching the elevator, or invest in a standing desk and commit to answering email while standing.
Frankel says it’s pretty simple to take care of yourself even during the snackiest time of the year: “Eat well. Avoid temptation. Exercise. That’s it.”