Everyone has heard the saying, you are what you eat. While this is certainly a true statement, I’ve recently begun to think that “you are where you eat” may be an even more accurate statement when it comes to weight loss plans. Are the foods you eat at home different than the ones you enjoy at the office? What are the differences, and why?
It is important to evaluate the food choices that you make on a daily basis so that you know which poor choices need to be remedied. Most likely, you spend the majority of your day at the office. Where do you eat when you’re at work – the office’s snack shack or the local pizza joint? Neither likely helps your figure. But with all of the hustle and bustle of the day, who’s counting how many chocolate kisses you munch? Unfortunately, the scale knows all.
The workplace is the perfect setting for bad eating habits. With anxiety and frantic nerves constantly in the air over some presentation or deadline, comfort foods like chocolate and soda seem very – well, comforting. But there’s a problem: sugary snacks are literally addictive. They cause the brain to release natural chemicals called opioids that give the body feelings of intense pleasure. These pleasant feelings only force you into craving more and more sweets.
Peer pressure is another workplace problem. Inevitably, a group of co-workers will invite you to join them for happy hour or a slice of pizza during lunchtime. Choose not to go and you’re branded as a stick-in-the-mud. Then, too, there’s the classic principle of work hard, eat hard. You figure, “I’ve been slaving over this project all morning, I totally deserve a candy bar.” And while you know that it’s no reward in the long run, you instinctively head for the snack machine during break time.
Want to resist temptation at work? Here are a few ideas:
1. Eat a hearty lunch. Eating plenty of whole grains and protein at lunch time will help avoid afternoon hunger that inevitably leads to unhealthy snacking.
2. It’s Ok to Snack. Snacking is not necessarily a bad thing. The key is eating healthy snacks that aren’t fatty and addictive. Pack some apple slices and peanut butter, some nuts, or dried fruit, and keep hunger pangs at bay.
3. Practice Saying No. Self-awareness is a huge key to weight loss. You don’t have to eat out of anxiety and stress. Tell yourself “NO” out loud if you need to, and exercise self-control.
4. Drink Water. Many times people eat when they are really thirsty. Before reaching for a bag of chips, drink some water and see how you feel. It’s probably all that you needed.
Truly, you are where you eat. The good news is that eating healthy is a choice that you can make for yourself. Have a plan, and watch the pounds melt away!