Many of us spend a lot of time at work. If you are trying to lose weight, it is worth looking at your work environment and your habits and behaviour around food at work, to see if it is contributing to you being overweight. Sutton, Epsom, Surrey based Weight loss hypnotherapist, Maria Furtek shares her top 5 tips for “snack proofing” your office.
1. Recognise your Danger Times We all have a time of day when we are vulnerable, maybe feeling tired or more stressed and this is when the temptation to turn to food for comfort can be at its strongest. If you know when you are the most likely to snack at work even though you are not physically hungry, but for comfort or reward, you can anticipate it and plan for it. For many people, it’s an afternoon slump that can often have them reaching for the biscuit tin. If you know this is your danger time, then plan ahead: could you pop out for a quick walk or visit at this time to refresh you or if you are confined to your desk, then ensure you have some healthy snacks in your bag. Even just getting up from the desk and having a stretch or taking some deep breathes can revive you at afternoon slump time!
2.Choose Healthy Snacks Snacking isn’t necessarily bad, depending upon what you are choosing to snack on! Ensure that you have a healthy snack at hand: a piece of fruit; a low fat yoghurt, oat & rice cakes, some unsalted nuts, are very convenient and above all can be enjoyed a quite easily at your desk as a healthy snack between meals.
3. Spring clean your desk Are the drawers of your desk overflowing with different types of snacks for an emergency? If you are someone who has copious amounts of snacks on their desk then beware! Having too many snacks hanging around in clear view, every time you open your drawer is a visual trigger, encouraging you to eat them when boredom or tiredness strikes. I know that even in desperation, clients of mine have told me that they have brushed dust off of chocolate bars hidden in the depths of their drawers to satisfy their cravings! Spring clean your desk and drawers and ditch the high calorie snacks now.
4. Take a Break If you snack through boredom, or tiredness at work, realise that actually what you probably need more than that bar of chocolate is a break. Take time away from your desk, pop to the loo if necessary, go and chat to a colleague for a few minutes, go and grab some water – breathe, unwind, stretch and relax. Change focus for a little while.
5. Just say No! If you are in an office with other people, give yourself permission to say “no!” if they are offering you food that you don’t want. A client of mine who is seeing me for weight loss complained that in the team she works in, it is the done thing for people to bring in chocolates, biscuits, cakes etc either as a matter of course, or to celebrate something. She was really worried about refusing this generosity in case she offended her colleagues. She also sat opposite a lady who was constantly on a diet and yet eating all day: this colleague kept insisting that my client had food that she didn’t want. (And most of it unhealthy food too!) I had to help my client learn to say “no” and mean it and her colleagues soon got the message and stopped pressurizing her. Remember you have a right to say “no” and it is in fact a positive word when you are working to lose excess weight.