The workplace is a constant source of temptation. I experienced this first hand working as a registered dietitian in a skilled nursing facility. There’s always something, whether it’s a coworker’s birthday, family members of residents bringing in treats for the staff, or that coworker that always has the candy bowl out for everyone to share.
The constant temptations can sabotage efforts at a healthier lifestyle, and all it takes is that one indulgence to invite a spiral of bad behaviors.
With the holidays around the corner, workplace temptations are going to increase. Here are 5 ways to avoid the temptations and satisfy your efforts to maintain healthy habits during the holidays:
1. Eat a balanced breakfast
Are you a breakfast skipper? The simple act of eating breakfast can reduce cravings throughout the day. Include protein, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep you feeling full for longer and balance your blood sugars.
One of my favorite breakfasts is Egg Muffins (recipe here) with side of fruit. This is a quick and easy option because you can prep them ahead of time and even eat them on the go if you’re in a hurry.
Greek yogurt with fruit and flaxseed mixed in is also a great option.
2. Stay hydrated – drink water, green tea, herbal tea, carbonated water
Often times we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty, especially if you’ve been sitting at your desk working diligently and forget to drink fluids. If you find yourself hungry before 3 hours after your last meal, try drinking water, herbal/green tea, or carbonated water. Read my full hydration article here.
3. Have an Emergency Kit
It’s too easy to walk into the breakroom and grab a donut or hit up the vending machine at work. Instead, try having healthy snacks on hand that will help to reduce temptations. I like to have an emergency “tool kit” of healthy snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated. This is what my tool box looks like:
Here are some of the items you might add to your tool box: Trail mix, dark chocolate, nuts and seeds, beef jerky, coconut butter, rice cake and almond butter, protein shake, BCAAs (here’s my favorite brand)
If you have a refrigerator at work, you can bring veggies and hummus or pumpkin yogurt for a satisfying and filling snack.
4. Buddy system- get others involved!
The more people you can get on board, the more likely you stay committed to your goals. Seek a coworker for support who has a healthy lifestyle and models the behaviors you would like to develop, or find a coworker who would also like to improve their lifestyle and work together to hold one another accountable.
You could also start a trend in the workplace with a healthy challenge (steps, weight loss, healthy pot luck lunches once a week/month, or special events)
5. Avoid hanging out in high temptation areas- breakroom, conference room, vending area (out of sight out of mind!)
During breaks or downtime, avoid hanging out in break rooms by taking a walk or going up and down a few flights of stairs.
Email or call a coworker instead of visiting their office/desk if they have a candy jar or other temptations.
Find out what healthy food options surround your office and commit to those healthy options, or even better, bring your own lunch!
Bringing your own lunch can keep you from staring into the vending machine at 11am, because you know you have a healthy meal to look forward to. Here’s a great lunch wrap to bring to work:
- 1 high fiber low carb tortilla wrap
- 4 oz. nitrate-nitrite free turkey breast (Applegate is a great brand)
- 4 cucumber slices
- ¼ cup sliced bell peppers
- ½ cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 5 black olives, sliced
- 2 tbsp. hummus
- 1 oz. feta cheese
- ¼ cup alfalfa sprouts
- ¼ cup shredded romaine lettuce
Serve this wrap with a side of fruit like a small organic apple.
If you struggle with temptations in the workplace, try implementing these strategies one at a time, and you will begin to feel better and notice in a difference in your energy and appetite during the day.
Watch the video on this topic!