Struggling with snacking while you’re at work? Deep down, you probably know that you’re not genuinely hungry but you snack anyway. Ready to start breaking the cycle? Here are some tips for beating snacky eating at work.
Don’t Eat Lunch At Your Desk
Always tend to eat while you’re still at your desk? Multitasking means you’re not going to be paying much attention to your food (aka Mindful Eating) and it’s gone before you know it. Your brain is way less likely to get the message that you’re actually full, and so will be telling you to carry on eating – hmmm naughty brain!
Make a point of getting up and going elsewhere for your lunch break. You need the change of scenery for your own sanity as well as being able to focus a little more on what you’re eating. The whole ‘sit at the desk as I’m so busy’ approach, really isn’t doing any part of your body and brain any favours. Even though you think you haven’t got time, you will be so much more productive if yo utake a breather.
What You Eat For Lunch Is Really Important.
Filling up on good fats, protein and vegetables can help to stop you snacking, you will have given your body all that it needs. And whatever you do, don’t work through lunch altogether. Skipping meals is a surefire way to encourage unhealthy snacking in the afternoon.
Don’t Take Unhealthy Snacks Into Work
Sounds simple but sometimes we forget. It’s a lot more effort to comfort eat if you don’t have unhealthy snacks to hand at your desk. If they’re there, you’re probably going to eat them, none of us has the will power of saints! Not taking unhealthy snacks into work is one of the EASIEST ways to avoid mindless snacking. If you do feel like snacking in between meals, swap unhealthy choices for more nutritious options. NO M & M’s please.
Think carrot or pepper sticks with a small tub (can be bought ready to go in the supermarkets), a few nuts, vegetable muffins (zucchini and carrot work well here), egg cakes, rather than biscuits, crisps and other crappy and sugar heavy snacks.
Drink Herbal Tea & Loads of Water
Staying hydrated can be super important for curbing cravings, not least because thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Water is a great choice but herbal tea can also help. There’s a lot of varieties to pick from so you’re sure to find one that helps to fight cravings, even for sweet ones. Plus, the physical act of holding the cup in your hands can distract from them too.
Keep Everything Unhealthy Focused In One Place
In the typical workplace, there isn’t normally a designated place for unhealthy treats and snacks and that can make it hard to stay away from them. If you don’t want to risk being tempted, see if you can persuade the powers-that-be to keep one area allocated for this so you can avoid it. You can do something similar if you work from home by keeping all of your ‘not so good’ foods in one specific place … preferably one that isn’t that easy to reach for.
Get An Accountability Buddy
Feel like you need a helping hand to beat emotional eating at work? See if you can get a co-worker involved – preferably one that wants to stop snacky eating too. Commit to eating a healthy, nutritious lunch together and have each other’s backs when you’re struggling. On both my last programmes, I had ladies from the same office going through the programme and it worked brilliantly (although my ears were burning most days). They kept each other on track and were sharing daily what they were eating, giving each other ideas and discussing how they were feeling – they were giving each other support. If you work from home, get a like-minded friend to check in with you regularly for the same effect. – ok we don’t work together but your sister can be your accountability buddy too!
Are Hidden Beliefs Playing A Part?
Comfort eating or snacking is mainly linked to your emotions, maybe you’re bored at work, feel unappreciated or are having too much pressure piled on you, or maybe not enough to do, you may be turning to food to deal with the emotions.
It can go a lot deeper than this too, and hidden beliefs can also play a big part. Maybe you’re lacking confidence in your abilities and the anxiety that this creates pushes you towards snacking on that chocolate bar that YOU KNOW, has your back (or does it….). Or maybe you believe that you have to go above and beyond in your job role and are on the fast track to burnout as a result.
Whatever the situation, dealing with these underlying factors is super important for helping you to stop comfort eating at work. Without this, you’re more than likely to carry on, sorry but…
Use Visualization Techniques
Walk yourself through your ideal workday from a visual point-of-view and imagine yourself avoiding comfort eating. “See” yourself as a healthy, energetic person who is completely in control of their eating patterns. Use visualization techniques first thing in the morning and whenever you feel your willpower starting to wane.
Affirmations are another tactic you can use to curb stress eating at work. When you feel the urge to reach for comfort food, repeat positive affirmations to yourself, your colleagues may want you to do this quietly or in your head, just saying lol. This can be as simple as saying “I only eat when I’m hungry” or “I have the power to control my cravings”, or “Hello Gorgeous, you don’t need that today, your body is a temple of fabulousness”!! Well it is isn’t it!
Bring Fear Into The Equation – bit weird I know
You can also use visualization techniques to shock your mind into ditching comfort eating. Think about one of the major downsides that could happen as a result of your eating habits. For example, obesity and serious health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease could be your trigger. Whatever you choose as the shock factor, let your imagination run wild as you visualize what this would mean in reality. If you bring enough fear into your visualization and make it seem as though it will be all too real if you go ahead and comfort eat, it should be make snacking seem much less appealing!
So have a go at the above and curb that office snacky eating, your body, brain and probably your boss will thank you for it.
Please do share with anyone in your office or anyone in fact that you think this might help. I’d love to hear your thoughts too, so do drop me a line.
Have a great day