Between the candy dish, vending machines and birthday celebrations, you may feel like your office environment is constantly thwarting your health goals. But with a little planning, you can arm yourself to resist temptation, stick with your healthy eating plan and stay inspired by your health goals. Use these tips to get started.
Eat away from your desk.
Your desk is not a lunch table. Put aside your work and take a few minutes to relax and enjoy lunch away from your work space. Use that time to stretch, walk around and enjoy a couple of deep breaths to re-energize for the rest of the day.
Keep meals and snacks consistent.
Pack fresh fruit or veggies to calm late-day munchies or before-meal hunger pangs that can lead to overeating. Eating at the same times each day can also help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Make healthy swaps.
Make a few switches in the kitchen or cafeteria to assemble a nutrient-dense meal. Switch your sandwiches to whole-grain breads and lean meats; choose mustard instead of mayo; skip the fries and potato chips; and opt for celery and carrot sticks to satisfy your crunch craving.
Track your steps.
If you need an energy boost, try going for a short walk rather than reaching for a snack. Climb stairs and take roundabout routes to meetings and the copy machine. Even 10 minutes of activity at work can help you reach that 30-minute goal for daily activity. Wear a pedometer to track your steps. Set small goals and watch your confidence rise.
Prepare for cravings.
If you're trying to keep your weight in check, remember that a small treat each day can help you control cravings. Avoid vending machine temptations or your office manager's candy dish by bringing your own small treat from home, and coming prepared with an apple or other snack to ward off the urge grab a doughnut on the way past the staff kitchen because you're "starving."
Drink more water.
Sip water or other calorie-free drinks at your desk. Liven up water with mint leaves, lemon or cucumber slices for added flavor.
Be aware of danger zones.
If you have a candy dish, get rid of it. If it belongs to a workmate, bypass it. Bring in diet-friendly treats to share instead, or display flowers or pictures to spread cheer.
Freshen your breath.
Who wants to ruin fresh breath with chips or chocolate? Keeping your mouth minty fresh may deter you from munching mindlessly.
Set a healthy example.
Offer to bring a nutritious item, such as cut vegetables or fruit with yogurt dip, to workplace celebrations.
Bring your lunch from home.
Save money and ensure that your meals are nutritious by brown-bagging all or parts of your at-work meals and snacks.
Look at the menu before you go out.
If you and your co-workers decide to eat out occasionally, research calories and other nutrients by checking out the menu on the restaurant's website ahead of time. Ask about portion sizes before ordering, and if portions are huge, enlist a co-worker to split an order, or save half for tomorrow.
(Diabetic Living is a magazine and website with a mission to give people with diabetes (PWDs) and the people who love and care for them the information needed to make the best health decisions in their day-to-day diabetes care. Online at www.diabeticlivingonline.com.)