The office candy bowl—whether you work at home, share a co-working space, or go to a traditional office—can become a serious issue for those trying to control their sugar intake. You may have the best intentions of sticking to your healthy eating plan, only to get sidetracked by a big bowl of red and green M&Ms or a delivery of freshly baked cupcakes from a client.
These are what I call “environmental” food challenges. You’re not hungry or craving sweets, but you end up eating these sugary foods just because they’re around. The trouble is, all of those seemingly innocuous cupcakes and brownies can end up derailing your diet in a big way. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, cut your sugar addiction, or live the healthy lifestyle, the office goodies can be obstacles to achieving your wellness goals. But, how do you avoid giving in when you work in a place where sugary treats abound?
Just Say No
Just because it’s free doesn’t mean you have to eat it! Depending on your personality, you may do best to create a standing rule and skip all desserts at the office. As we well know, sugar is addictive. If you start the habit of eating whatever is around, you’ll begin to expect a sweet everyday. That’s when it becomes dangerous.
Only Take One Bite (But For Real)
Some people can handle indulging in just one bite. If you can do this, go for it! The first bite usually tastes the best anyway, so savor it. Then walk away.
Pack Your Snack
It’s a good idea to plan for a healthy snack during your workday. Usually, people want a snack either mid-morning or mid-afternoon. If you create your own healthy snack ritual, you’ll be less likely to want the sugary treats that might pop up at the office. Some of my favorite healthy snack solutions include a green juice, a protein shake, coconut water, a piece of fruit or some nuts with a square of dark chocolate.
Watch The “Free Calorie” Trap
I see a common pattern in patients who are very strict about counting calories all day. But when it comes to a cupcake at the office, they let loose because there is no nutrition label to review, giving the sense that it doesn’t “count.” If this happens to you, pay attention. It may be a signal that you are not eating enough for breakfast and lunch. Be sure to fill up on healthy foods, and you’ll be less likely to go overboard with sweets later.
Be The Office Health Nut
There’s a health nut in every office. You can be that nut! I guarantee that if you start eating seaweed snacks, flax crackers and chia seed pudding, your coworkers will be intrigued. They’ll be flocking to you with burning questions about your healthy lifestyle. Start drinking kombucha instead of Diet Coke. Skip the mid-day Starbucks and get that afternoon boost from a green juice instead. Bake or buy a batch of gluten-free goodies for your co-workers. Your positive influence will impact everyone around you and, little by little, your office environment will become a healthier one.
Luckily, at our office, we have a complete staff of health nuts. Share this beloved Eleven Eleven Wellness Center recipe with your co-workers:
Dr. Lipman’s Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Recipe:
• 1/8 cup chia seeds
• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
• 1 tbsp cocoa powder
• ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
• Pinch of salt (optional)
• Stevia to taste
Spin through the blender and let sit in the fridge for at least 10 minutes. Then, enjoy!
Cutting back on refined sugar means entering the wild landscape of natural sweeteners: we’ve decoded them here, so you don’t have to.
Plus: want a quick energy boost? Try these super-health (but still tasty!) snacks.
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