Health Advocate Blog

Snack smartly at work

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, lose weight, or abstain from fattening foods?  Watch your step at work–the office can be a minefield of tempting, high-calorie, sugary food that can throw your healthy goals off track. The following tips can help you sidestep the birthday cakes, leftover holiday candy and other unhealthy fare that often lurk in the office.

  • Come prepared. Bring healthy snacks to eat throughout the day. Then, if a surprise birthday cake shows up, you may be too full of almonds or apple slices to crave a piece.
  • Out of sight, out of mind. If sweets sneak into your office, see if you and your coworkers can make a pact to restrict them to a communal area like the company kitchen where you can’t see them and be tempted.
  • Head to the water fountain before the vending machine. Sometimes the brain confuses hunger with thirst. To find out which you crave, figure out when was the last time you had something to eat compared to something to drink. It may very well be that it’s a few gulps of water you’re craving.
  • Lobby for healthier breakfast meetings. Suggest that fruit and yogurt be served rather than just bagels and danish.
  • Need a pick-me-up?  Don’t reach for a candy bar. Instead, sip a cup of black coffee or black or green tea.  They’re not only caffeinated, but also calorie-free.
  • Participate in potlucks.  Offer to bring a veggie tray, fruit tray, or other healthy fare to your next office function.  This way, you know there’s something there that you can eat without feeling guilty–and your health-conscious co-workers will appreciate it, too.
  • Take a walk.  If you’re feeling tired, this can increase your feelings of hunger.  But maybe what you really need is something to perk you up.  Instead of snacking, take a brisk 5-minute walk around the building to feel more alert.
  • Make up for it. Overindulged at the company bake sale? Make a healthy follow-up choice—take a brisk walk around your building, climb the stairs to another floor (and don’t take the elevator back down) or, if available, work out at the company’s fitness center.

Many workplaces are now offering wellness programs to their employees.  A wellness program can be a valuable resource for information about healthy eating and other healthy habits.  Some programs even offer personalized wellness coaching to help keep you on track with your goals.  If your company offers a wellness program, make sure you take advantage of it–and if your employer offers Health Advocate’s Wellness program, give us a call at 866-695-8622 to find out more about how you cat set and stick to healthy goals.