Some offices are a minefield of high calorie treats like doughnuts donated by visiting sales reps, freshly baked cookies baked by co-workers, little jars of candy and, of course, vending machine soft drinks and snacks. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or bored during the day and mindlessly nibble on one.
Unfortunately, mindless nibbles still have calories, and those extra calories add up quickly. Don’t let your clean eating plan get sidetracked by office snacks. Here are some simple ways to eat fewer calories at the office.
Pack your snacks
When hunger strikes at the office, be prepared with your own stash of healthy nibbles. Use a kitchen scale to weigh out portions, and make your own 100-calorie snack packs. Instead of filling your packs with cookies, add healthier options such as nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate nibs to create your own trail mix. Pistachios are a good choice since they’re one of the lowest calorie nuts. There are only 160 calories in a single serving of 49 nuts. Researchers have also discovered that most people only absorb about 85% of the fat in pistachios, making them a source of free calories.
Add an apple to your stash. Apples are rich in a type of fiber called pectin that makes you feel full. If you have a refrigerator at work, bring along a container of Greek yogurt, string cheese and chopped vegetables. Nibble on these healthy snacks rather than making a trip to the vending machine.
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Take a walk during break instead of snacking
When it’s time to take a break, some people head to the break room to sip coffee and nibble on high calorie snacks. Instead of joining the crowd, use your break time to take a brisk walk around the building or head outdoors. Head to the stairwell and walk up and down a few times. Research shows that people who sit for long periods of time without getting up to move around have a higher risk of mortality. Don’t let your body go into hibernation mode. You’ll feel more energized to meet the day’s remaining challenges after a brisk walk.
Make smarter choices at lunch
In some offices, an assigned person heads out to a fast-food restaurant to bring lunch back for the whole staff. Resist the urge to give them your order for a double cheeseburger and fries. Pack your lunch instead. Good brown bag lunch options include a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread, tuna salad that’s light on the mayo, fresh fruit, yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese. If you go out to lunch on occasion with your co-workers, browse the menu online beforehand to find healthier options. Know what you’re going to order before you get there, so you won’t be tempted to follow the crowd.
Eat a healthy breakfast
People who skip breakfast are more likely to put on weight. When you eat a healthy breakfast, you’re less likely to overindulge later in the day. Make sure your morning meal contains a source of lean protein and fiber-rich carbs. A hard-broiled egg and a bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal is a good choice. Both eggs and oatmeal are filling and relatively low in calories.
Don’t eat while you work
When you eat lunch, don’t do it while you’re working. People who eat while they’re working, reading or watching television usually end up eating more calories than they planned. Practice mindful eating by focusing in on the taste and textures of your food – not on the project you have to complete by the end of the day.
The bottom line?
Don’t let office snacks add an additional inch to your waistline. Stay on course with your clean eating plan even when you’re at work. It’s not hard to do with a little planning.