Working all day (particularly if you’re sitting down at a desk all day), seeing other people eating bad food, and stressing out from deadlines, co-workers or customers can all be triggers which lead people to snack on unhealthy foods while at work. Once you’ve gotten into the habit it can be difficult to break, so we have a few tips for you to get your snack attacks under control!
Find out when you are most vulnerable
Before you can stop the unwanted behaviour, you need to figure out why and when it’s happening. Is there are certain time of day that you’re always craving a chocolate? Or do you find you just *need* to have a can of coke at 3pm in the afternoon? Perhaps after dealing with certain people you need to hit up the vending machine. Start realising when and where you are when you are craving particular food items at work. Did you just come out of a stressful meeting? Are you getting tired because it’s getting towards the end of the day? Or do you just need a little ‘pick me up’? Find the trigger and then we can proceed.
Write it down
Write down what you’re craving each time you want it. You’ll start to see patterns emerging. Once you have figured out what type of foods you want and when you can start to tackle the problem at the source, it usually starts off as a way to ‘self medicate’ emotions with food, and then becomes an addiction or habit.
Bring a good lunch and healthy snacks
Make sure you have brought enough food to last the day. You want to aim to bring a lunch that you actually look forward to having, it doesn’t have to be as boring as chicken and broccoli (I mean, if you like that, go for it), check out these recipes here. By making sure the lunch you bring is something that you want to eat you are less likely to feel like you ‘need’ to indulge at some point in the day. As well as a yummy lunch ensure that the snacks you are bringing to work are healthy. If you’ve already brought all your food it would be a waste to not eat it.
Focus on your food
Try to make sure that when you are eating your snacks at work it’s not while you’re in the middle of doing something. If you’re watching a screen, talking on the phone or have some other task at hand you are more likely to eat a larger serving than usual, or feel like you have barely eaten at all. Try to take at least 5 minutes out of your day if you can to relax, give yourself some quiet time and enjoy your food!
Have some fun
As I briefly mentioned before, many people use unhealthy foods as a ‘reward’, in an attempt to self-medicate their feelings, or to reduce stress. You do not need to reward yourself with food, that’s how animals are trained, you do not need to train yourself the same way. Make sure your emotional needs are fulfilled throughout the day and that you have some time to relax (even if it's just 5 minutes out of your day to truly relax), walk to work, go to the gym on your lunch break or when you’re finished for the day, call up a friend when you’ve got some time, just take a small amount of time out of your day to do something you can enjoy.