5 Tips for Banishing Bad Workplace Eating Habits

Posted by Matt Schwartz on Mon, Mar 16, 2020 @ 09:03 AM

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You keep trying to change your bad eating habits, but being at the office all day makes it hard. If you feel sometimes like your wellness plan is being sabotaged at your workplace, you’re not alone.

Temptations such as early morning doughnuts and the ubiquitous candy bowl have been the downfall of many employees who are trying to watch their weight.

However, making simple changes to your daily routine can help you stay on track with a fitness plan. Here are five things you can do right now (via a Mayo Clinic article):

1Banish the candy bowl; bring on the fruit bowl. Out of sight, out of mind is very true here. Simply moving a candy bowl away from your desk, or stashing it in a drawer, has been shown to significantly reduce consumption of sugary treats. Conversely, a prominently placed fruit bowl encourages healthy snacking.

2. Beware of the vending machine. Research has confirmed something that most of us know intuitively: Vending machines largely dispense snacks high in sugar, salt and calories, and low in nutritional value. When afternoon hunger pangs hit, bypass the break room machines.

3. Plan ahead; bring healthy snacks from home. Take control of your snacking by bringing healthy food from home. For a desk-drawer stash, consider mixed nuts and granola bars. Refrigerated snacks can include yogurt, raw veggies, fresh fruit and string cheese — all healthier alternatives to your co-workers' cookies.

4. Stop eating alone at your desk. Desktop dining has become the American worker's default: 62 percent of survey respondents said they regularly eat lunch alone at their desks. Research has shown that eating with co-workers can increase both cooperative behavior and overall work performance — a win-win. Another alternative? Get outside for a walk. It'll leave you less time to consume a big meal, improve your enthusiasm and make you more relaxed.

5. Don't forget to hydrate. Even mild dehydration can adversely affect your memory and increase anxiety and fatigue, setting the stage for both decreased work performance and nervous snacking. Keep a water bottle handy so that you can drink throughout the workday. Drinking water instead of one 20-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage saves you about 240 calories.

It's all too easy to go with the unhealthy flow in a workplace setting. But increased mindfulness about what you're eating and where you're eating it can really help turn the tide. 

Topics: Worksite Wellness