In today’s office weight loss tip, we’re going to talk about preventing one of the worst habits that many of us office workers are guilty of – snacking on junk food. A lot of people overlook the time spent in the office as a key contributor to weight gain. Let’s face it, we spend at least 8 hours a day working. Anything we do at work will definitely determine whether or not we get fat. One of the worst things that we can do to sabotage our fat loss plans is mindless snacking on junk foods that we conveniently place all over our desks.
Take a look around your desk and even your colleagues. Do you see boxes of chocolate chip cookies, half-eaten bag of potato chips, candy bars and other sugary snacks around? If you’ve noticed that these snacks are more commonly found on female colleagues desks, don’t be surprised.
In a study done by Dannon company, they found that 83% of working women snack at work. Among them, more than half (53%) said they favor potato chips to snack at work, followed by candy bars and chocolates (49%), crackers (49%) and then cookies (48%).
Many of these foods are commonly labeled as comfort foods. Towards late morning and late afternoon where the hunger pangs are most likely to strike office workers. Reaching out for these comfort foods temporarily gratifies many of our needs at that moment: quick carbs, sugar, salt and crispy or chunky high fat goodness.
How these snacks make you fat:
Because many of these foods are high glycemic in nature, they offer you a quick spike in blood sugar levels giving you a momentary boost in energy. Then your insulin kicks in storing all those excess blood sugar as fats. In less than an hour, your blood sugar level crashes sending your energy levels to a downward spiral. Before you know it, you are reaching out for a second candy bar again.
If you think it’s no big deal to indulge in some junk food during office hours, then check out how much damage your favorite comfort food contains:
1 big chocolate chip cookie contains 196 calories and 13.7g of sugar.
1 Hershey chocolate bar 223 calories and 22.7g sugar.
1 packet Lays classic 28gm potato chips 150 calories
So how many of these do you consume in a day, a week, a month? If you don’t exercise at all, these little additional calories here and there eventually add up and will manifest itself on your waistline.
The study also reported that proximity and convenience are two main factors when it comes to snacking. Many admitted that they snack on “whatever they can find around them“.
[Weight Loss Tip] With this in mind, you can easily counteract mindless snacking habits in the office by following the steps below:
- Trash the stash: If you currently already have some junk food around your desk, throw them away. (or give them to the nasty coworker). You have to be firm on this. Start on a clean slate. Now move to the next step.
- It’s all about timing: Now that you’ve cleared your stash, we need to replenish them with healthy choices. But before you do that, we need to make sure you do not shop at the wrong time. Why? Because we usually do not make sound nutritional decisions when we are starving. During that time, first thing on our minds is to satisfy our hunger pangs and in many cases we would gravitate towards high carbohydrate snacks. So next time when you are shopping for snacks for the office, do it after you had a good meal and not when you are hungry. Only then will you able to make healthier snack choices.
- Choose your next move wisely: This is going to sound like a broken record, but it bears repeating that nuts, seeds and fruits should be the first things on your list when it comes to buying healthy snacks for the office. Nuts and seeds contain healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, minerals and will help to lower bad cholesterol. Fruits also provide you with fiber, vitamins and natural fruit sugar. And as mentioned in my previous post, fiber for weight loss works exceptionally well. Anything rich in fiber is going to make you feel more satiated. This means you are less likely to reach out for that chocolate bar.
By understanding how our bodies work and our snacking tendencies, we are able to take steps to prevent ourselves from being a victim of the corporate belly bulge.
With the pressure cooker environment of the office, its inevitable that we will snack every now and then especially in the late afternoon. I’ve personally been a victim of mindless snacking in the office and this is partly the reason how fat crept up on me while I was working in the corporate environment.