You know what happens every day at about 9:30 in my office?
The smell of popcorn wafts into my cubicle from the lobby. Oh buttery goodness.
I eat a fair amount of popcorn but that popcorn comes from my air popper, dosed only in coconut oil and salt. I’ve seen what goes into that machine in the lobby and it is most definitely not coconut oil.
Eating well in the office environment is not an easy goal. From business lunches at Chiles to the monthly birthday celebrations, there is always something tempting. We had a salad potluck last month and two people still brought cupcakes. It’s everywhere all the time!
I know a lot of people struggle with this too so I thought I’d share my tips.
1. Bring All Your Own Food I bring a huge bag with me every day that has my lunch and three or four snacks of fruit, nuts or granola or something similar (usually under 200 calories is my limit). I pack more than I will need so I always have an emergency stash. I like apples but I know I’m not gonna eat one jut because I’m bored so I feel safe bringing more than I need.
Later on, I’ll do a post on packing lunches. I’ve gotten pretty pro at this over the last two years. My tip for now though is to utilize leftovers! Just make slightly more than normal for dinner the night before and lunch has packed itself!
Today’s lunch: couscous with a lentil-vegetable mix. I made a huge batch yesterday, giving me lunch for at least two days. This is a ton of food – absolutely delicious and guilt-free.
Although not that photogenic. Lentils always look gross in pictures. Don’t be fooled, please!
2. Hydrate I keep two giant mugs on my desk and one is always filled with tea and the other with water.
That baby needs two hands to manage! But drinking all those liquids is not only good for me, it fills me up so that the popcorn smell is no longer so appealing.
3. Be An Over-Sharer Don’t keep your healthy intentions a secret. Tell your coworkers why you eat the way you do and how you’re trying to avoid the sweets and junk. I always feel a little awkward bringing it up but when I turn down the birthday cake, someone always asks and I figure I might as well tell them. While some people are a little judgmental, others always agree with what I say and, by saying it out loud to other people, they’re likely to hold you accountable if you do mention wanting something from the vending machine.
4. Distractions Somedays I’m not interested in what I’m doing and my mind wanders. Usually to food. If you have a job that holds your attention, that’s great. If not, you’re gonna have to distract yourself. Get chatty with a cubicle mate, read a news article or take a pee break. Anything to get your min rebooted, so to speak. I also keep a pack of gum on my desk and grab a piece when I’m feeling snacky.
5. It’s Not All or Nothing If you have a bag of chips, move on. Don’t feel too guilty too long. Acknowledge that you feel bad and move on. I also think a little of something is okay if you keep it in moderation. I used to have a bag of dark chocolates at my desk and I would have one after lunch if I really craved something sweet. And 9 out of 10 times that little square was all I needed.
I work for a company that does their best to offer a good environment for their employees. To them, that means a flavored coffee machine and cheap vending machines. While I appreciate that their intentions are good, I would love to work for a company that prioritizes health. Will is applying to a company that pays employees to work out for an hour a day. Um, yes! Where can I apply?
What are your tricks for staying on track in the office?