If you work in an office you need to use all of your willpower and walk away from the food. This time of the year it is difficult to maintain good eating and exercise habits.
With the double whammy of it being dark when you leave the house and dark when you get home and in most places colder, walking outdoors is difficult. That combined with the fact that food is everywhere especially in offices makes this a challenging time of the year.
I know when I was working in an office I would consume so much sugar and caffeine at this time of the year that I would actually have heart palpitations. There were days when I would have consumed a full days worth of calories and fat grams by 10:00 in the morning.
No question about it, it is a difficult month to try and be healthy. There are potlucks, cookie exchanges and holiday parties all over the office. Not to mention gifts that often include food.
To save myself from myself I had to devise a number of schemes to keep moving and stop eating at work, or at least to control my eating. Here are some of the things that worked for me:
- Walk Away From The Food:
The most effective strategy was just to walk away from the food, but that was the least fun and therefore, the one I was least likely to follow. Instead, I would walk to the food, meaning I would take the long way to get there. I would walk up stairs and walk around the floor a couple of times. Then I had to do the same thing on my return to my desk. This had two effects, one is my enthusiasm for the food would be lessened after a short walk, and secondly at least I had a little exercise.
- Portion Control:
Use a desert plate if they are available rather than a dinner plate. Just by using a smaller plate you will control your portion size.
- Make A Decision:
Main meal or desert, you decide. Rather than tasting everything make a decision. Are you going to eat the main course or a desert?
- Eat Early:
If you know there is going to be food everywhere, take your lunch early if you can and eat a healthy meal. Or have a healthy snack before you go to the potluck so you won’t be as hungry. That way you can treat yourself to a cookie and a little social time without stuffing yourself with all of the other food.
- Throw It Away:
There is no shame in throwing away food if you have a satisfied feeling of fullness rather than overeating.
- Taste Only:
Take a taste of everything; throw away things you don’t love and no seconds!
- Look For Walking Opportunities:
Try to fit in more walks to compensate for the extra calories. Take the stairs, park your car farther away from the office, take 5 minute walking breaks every chance you get.
No matter what holiday or holiday’s you celebrate, this is a fun time of the year. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you eat more and exercise less for a few weeks. But, it will make your January more enjoyable or at least less dreary if you go in to the month with only an extra pound or two rather than the five pounds most people put on over the holidays.