How to Beat the Office Bulge

iStock_000018543896XSmallI work in a great office environment, and with some really great people. My colleagues and I have a lot of fun, especially around people’s birthdays and anniversary dates with the company.

We don’t want to leave anybody out, though, so we bring something in for our own birthdays. This way, nobody forgets.

With over 14 people in our office, there are a lot of birthdays and work anniversaries. Plus, some people just bring things in for fun. We regularly have treats on our shared table. There’s a joke with other departments that if you forget your lunch, you should head on over to the one that I work in.

While it’s all in good fun, it’s just not healthy to be eating pastries and cookies and cakes every second day, and it can increase your caloric intake substantially.

The problem is that when the treats are sitting there on the table, taunting you and tempting you, it’s hard to say no. I’ve recently decided I am not going to give in to my whims all the time, and here’s how I’ve been able to ward off the office bulge:

Keep Busy

If you have down time at work, you are more likely to get an unexpected craving for your poison of choice. Usually, that’s something sweet and carb loaded, particularly in the middle of the day. This messes with your metabolism and blood sugar levels, so if you have any extra time in your daily schedule, fill it up. Doing even menial tasks will keep you busy and your mind off of snacking.

Get Moving

Many colleagues stay at their desks in their office chairs on breaks, and this is probably the worst thing you can do; not only for your weight, but also for your circulation, brain functioning and concentration. On your breaks, go for a stroll around your workplace. If it’s a cold day, even up and down the hallways or stretching in your office will help.

This can also help if you have a break in work and want to avoid the food; get out of the general area and get your blood moving.

Have “Healthy” Potlucks

You’d be surprised as to how many of your colleagues also want to avoid the treats and sweets that tend to linger around the office. Next time a potluck is announced, suggest having a healthy potluck, where treats are avoided and everyone brings in something nutritious.

Even if half of the dishes are healthier than they would have been, your office is getting ahead.

Hydrate (With Calorie/Sugar Free Drinks)

Every time I catch myself gazing at the office snacks, wanting to curb a sudden craving for whatever is there, I first go and make myself a cup of tea. Not only does it get me up and out of my desk, which removes me from the snacks to begin with, but tea is also a warm beverage which can make you feel full. This is beneficial if your body is telling you that it’s hungry (even though it’s likely not) when you see or smell food.

Water can also create the same desired effect, but if you are craving something sweet, you might want to try sugar free juice crystals, such as Crystal Light. That way you are getting your sweet fix, without sugar to make your blood sugar levels spike, and without calories.

It’s difficult to stay away from bad habits when you are working in an office environment, but it’s important for your health and your productivity to stay focused, get up and move, and stay away from those harmful, sugary and carbohydrate laden snacks.


How to Beat the Office Bulge — 14 Comments

  1. I know! It’s just difficult to say no, especially if they are homemade dishes or pastries by some office mates. Some even want to shove it to your mouth. Will follow your examples here.

  2. At my old place of employment, people were always bringing in cookies, cupcakes, etc. Around the holidays a lot of our vendors would send huge boxes of chocolates and cookies, etc. I don’t really like baked goods…but I got in some big trouble with boxes of chocolates sitting around!

  3. Number one rule is to just say no! With all the potlucks, and people bring stuff to work to fatten you up you have to draw a line. They look great but you have to decide on eating every time or being able to fit in your clothing. When I was in the office I walked on lunch and on one of my 15 minute breaks.

  4. Daisy!!! These are such fine ideas, especially the healthy potlucks. One absolutely must replace bad habits with good ones if they want positive change. When I worked for someone else, I always brought my own healthy lunch except for the rare occasion. That was the greatest help of all and saved me a boat load. Have a pickle of a day!!!

  5. These are great suggestions! I have the same problem where I work and I have a hard time saying no too. I love your suggestion to get moving…I heard that having a sedentary lifestyle is very unhealthy. I go for a walk during lunch when the weather is nice, but I’ve been trying to get up and move around every hour also.

  6. I’d be doomed there. 🙂 I’m not so good at self-control when I’m distracted. It’s why I try not to buy junk!

  7. Thanks for the suggestions! I always knew I heard those muffins and doughnuts whispering my name as I walked by the break room; that’s dangerous territory! Chewing gum usually helped my mid-day munchies situation. Great post!

  8. I know, I’ve been struggling with this one lately as well. I have colleagues who make cakes for fun – show offs 🙂 – and bring them to the office. And I can resist everything but temptation. These last two weeks though I’ve been strong and have not eaten any cake (despite our secretaries reminding me there is some) – I am doing the ‘slow burn’ thing where all sugar and carbs are absolutely no go. Let’s see which one is stronger – my love of cakes or my desire to run an ultra marathon.

  9. I used to work for a company (many years ago) that brought in donuts or bagels every Friday. I passed up the donuts and went for the bagels without the cream cheese.

  10. Ughhhh….I’ve put on 25 lbs since starting my cubicle job. There’s probably a hundred people in my immediate office (2000+ where I work) so there is cake seemingly everyday for some event. Plus all the greasy food in the cafeteria and vending machines. It adds up quick. This year I started to change my diet to hopefully lose the weight. Switched to soup at lunch and no more soda, just water. Down 15 so far, still got a bunch to go! :p

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