Grazing on unhealthy snacks at your desk? Here’s some tips to help you resist…
The Morning Coffee Run
It’s hard to avoid the lure of coffee and pastries, but you can increase your will power with the right food planning.
Solution: Poached egg on toast and a piece of fruit for breakfast is perfect to keep away hunger pangs, or bring in a sachet of porridge to eat at your desk. The waistline saving can be huge compared to the coffee-shop option – there are 646 calories in the average latte and blueberry muffin! But you can choose carefullly – a Starbucks Breakfast Pot (Greek Style yoghurt with oats and fruit compote) plus an espresso adds up to 283 calories.
Top Tip: Check the calorie content of your fave drinks in your Woman’s Own Diets food database!
The Office Feeder
According to an industry survey, 44 percent of office works claim the reason they snack at work is because a workmate brings in irresistible foods. Mostly this is generosity, but the giver may be encouraging others to eat sweet treats so they don’tfeel guilty themselves!
Solution: Dr Michael Sinclair, consultant psychologist with London’s City Psychology Group, says to acknowledge the gesture and politely decline. But if a colleague insists you eat it, you’ve every right to be firm.
Top Tip: Pretend your GP said you can’t eat the food that’s on offer
Stuck at your computer all day?
Sitting down for hours on end is not only bad news for burning calories, it’s also a major health hazard. An Australian study found that adults who sat for 11 or more hours a day had a 40 per cent increased risk of dying in the next three years, compared with those who sat for fewer than four hours a day.
Solution: Something as simple as standing up while you’re making a phone call can make a major difference, and burns up to 50 per cent more calories than sitting. If your job is desk-based, make a point of getting up to walk around the office (eg, to the loo) once an hour – it will also make you more productive.
Top Tip: Try to leave the office at lunchtime. Taking a 20-minute brisk walk every day could stop your weight creeping up by 2lb a year.
Birthday cakes & sweets
When it’s someone’s brthday, it can be really hard to turn down that yummy slice of cake.
Solution: Next time it’s your turn to do the buying, ask if anyone might prefer fruit or nuts – and you could start a healthier trend. Another option it to put the money your would have spent on treats into a kitty and have a really good night out together instead.
Top Tip: Move any celebratory boxes of chocolates out of reach. A study has found that office employees eat 125 more calories per day when sweets are placed on a person’s desk rather than on a filing cabinet just 6ft away.
The 3pm Slump
Mid afternoon is one of the hardest times to control sugar craving as our 24-hour biological cycle, kown as circadian rhythms, take a natural dip around this time. If you haven’t planned in a healthy snack, it’s all too easy to turn to chocolates, sweets or biscuits to give you a lift.
Solution: Protein-based snacks, healthy fat and fruit and vegetable will help give you the boost you need without resorting to a sugar fix. Try half an apple spread with some peanut butter, a snack pack or hummus and carrot sticks, two light cheese triangles and a mini bag of apple and grape slices, or a handful of walnut halves.
Top Tip: Try drinking a strong cup of coffee just after lunch. Its caffeine content can help minimise the afternoon energy drop.