Is Your Job Making you Fat?
Probably. For most of us, the workplace has the potential to absolutely derail our goals of healthy eating and weight loss. From birthday cupcakes for the co-worker to catered lunches to “Insert – Just Because” office potlucks, the food buffet is endless. This constant barrage of temptations is enough for anybody to give in and interrupt their streak of healthy eating. On top of that, your job may likely be a stressful environment with assignments, deadlines, and probably 1 or 2 whacko co-workers thrown in for good measure. Stress + opportunity to “cheat” can take a toll on our dedication and willpower to stay on track. And when we’re talking about 5 days a week and somewhere around 40 hours of this workspace madness, how do we deal?
#1 Start on a positive note. We make sure we have breakfast in our bellies (or at least in our hands!) before we walk out the door. Giving ourselves enough time prep our meal that morning or the night before leaves zero room for skipping breakfast. We usually keep it simple with smoothies, scrambled eggs and veggies, steel cut oat cups, green yogurt parfaits, or our favorite infamous avocado toast. Making sure our breakfast is not only deliciously satisfying but also nutrient packed better prepares us to pass on the sugar-filled bomb waiting for us in the office breakroom.
#2 Pack a lunch. Seems kind of obvious, right? But it’s so easy to fall into a pattern of eating out for lunch while at work. It’s convenient and usually tastier than whatever we think we’re capable of making at home. The truth is, it’s expensive not just for our wallet but also for our waistline. Just like with breakfast, we make it a habit to prep our lunch the night before or in the morning. And if we’re feeling ambitious, sometimes we meal prep for the whole week! Choose 1-2 of your favorite proteins, veggies, and healthy carbs and you’ve got yourself some variety for the work week.
#3 Keep a stash. Stock up on some healthy snacks you can keep in your office or work locker. Have some basics on hand like bread, a nut butter, some trail mix, or maybe your favorite protein bar. One of Sarah’s past coworkers would make nut butter sandwiches and have them stored as backup meals in the event she forgot to bring lunch! You can also make it a habit to pack some more perishable snacks like fresh fruit or some cut up veggies with your favorite hummus dip. The idea is to never be so desperate for food that you pick up a donut in the break room.
#4 Office party? Don’t fret. You have some control. Sign up to bring a dish that you know will easily fit into your diet plan. Make it something you can load up on just in case there aren’t any other sides that compliment your plate. Try some sort of chicken or tuna salad, or a tasty and lean lasagna! And if the party gets taken out for lunch, plan ahead. FInd out where you’ll be dining and look up the menu beforehand. This way you can be sure you’ll make a decision you can feel guilt-free about!
Following these simple steps keeps us on track. What do you find works best for you?
P.S. If you struggle more with navigating your co-workers intentional or unintentional attempts at sabotage, you should check out our blog post “The Power of In a Minute” . Here you’ll find our number one tip for avoiding food pushers!