Food & Nutrition
9 ways to avoid office food traps
Keep junk food at work away with these useful tips
Published March 23, 2017
Brownies in the break room? It can be a dangerous combo: You’re working hard and stressed out, and there are pastries in the break room (not to mention the candy bars in the vending machine). The workplace can be a minefield of tricky food options, but if you have your own healthy, tasty food on hand, the easier it’ll be to stay on plan in the face of high-stress (or high-temptation) moments.
9 tips to avoid unhealthy food at the office
- Put a bowl of fruit on your desk. And keep it well stocked. The more color variety in the fruits, the better. Not only will it put 0 SmartPoints® value snacks right in front of your eyes, it’ll also remind you of the healthy lifestyle you’re living.
- Stash a week’s worth of emergency snacks. 0 SmartPoints value fruits or vegetables paired with a low-fat protein (like low-fat string cheese) makes a powerhouse snack to keep you going at work. Restock your food stash every Monday and you’ll be far less tempted to hit the vending machine.
- Cook once, brown-bag it several times. Every weekend, plan your lunches for the week and then shop and batch-cook accordingly. Pre-make the lunches so your mornings are as easy as possible. Sandwiches, salads and even leftover dinner make good portable lunches. If you’ve got your pre-planned, healthy and satisfying lunch with you, you’ll save plenty of SmartPoints, not to mention a lot of cold, hard cash.
- Establish a no-treat zone. Ask workmates to put free food in kitchen. Or a remote common area. Or anywhere but in your shared workspace. If it’s out of sight (and smell), you can put it more easily out of your mind.
- Ask coworkers to leave you off any “brownies in the break room!” emails. What you don’t know can’t tempt you.
- Swap in a new ritual for the vending machine visit. If you’ve found yourself wandering toward the office treat epicenter mid-afternoon, replace that ritual with another. Start visiting a coworker, duck out for a cup of coffee or go for a walk around the block for five minutes. If it helps, create an automatic reminder in your calendar to reinforce the new habit.
- At office celebrations, decide how many SmartPoints you’re going to use. Whether you’ve got advance warning, or if someone’s surprise party is also a surprise to you, take a quick look at your SmartPoints budget for the day and week and decide how many you’re willing to spend. Consider the quality of the offerings, too. Fantastic cheesecake? That might be worth dipping into your Weeklys. Generic supermarket sheet cake? Maybe not so much.]
- Pre-track, and enjoy. If you have enough notice and you know you want to partake, then pre-track a reasonable guess at what you’ll have (small slice of chocolate cake, a piece of pizza) and enjoy it!
- Take a seat by the door. Enjoy your slice, chuck your plate and then remove yourself from arm’s reach of the food. You’ll be less likely to reach for more if you have to get up to do it.
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