Why Office Jobs Make You Snack (& How to Beat the Cycle)

Posted by: Pete Campbell

donuts

Are you a chronic workplace snacker? Will it be a cold day in hell when not a single one of your colleagues arrives at work bearing a tupperware tub full of tempting treats, does your hectic schedule leave you with no time for lunch and a serious snacking dependency? You’re not alone.

For the snacking prone, the humble British office is one of the absolute worst places to stave off a snack habit. In this blog we’ll be taking a closer look at what makes the office kryptonite to snackers keen to cut back and suggesting a few ways to cut out the cravings.

Why Snack?

One of the biggest problems with office life is that it can be both stressful and tedious. With many of us sitting solidly at a desk all day, few of us have the opportunity to enjoy a clear cut break or a change of pace, which is a recipe for boredom. Meanwhile, with hectic schedules and heavy workloads, lots of us have little time for lunch or to ensure we’re eating properly. The solution? Desk snacking, as both a cure for boredom and a necessary, energy-boosting evil.

Snack Culture

With the rise of shows like The Great British Bake Off, many workplaces now have a definite “snacking culture”. How often does an office birthday result in a huge slice of chocolate cake for every team member? How often does your workplace’s resident baker arrive proudly with a tub of freshly made cronuts? How can you say no at 11am with the tedium and the munchies just setting in after skipping breakfast before your frantic commute?

The Solution

The problem is that office snacking  is a form of munching which has very little to do with hunger or nutrition. All too often, the food we feast on at work helps to alleviate boredom, aid social interaction, break up the day and give us a sugary energy boost when we’re running low on wholesome food. So how can we avoid all of these unnecessary and unhealthy stimuli to improve our workplace diets?

  • Listen to your body
    With colleagues snacking left, right and centre it’s difficult to avoid temptation and for your body to realise that it’s not actually hungry. To overcome this, take a moment to listen to your body – are you truly hungry? When did you last eat? Stay in tune with your physical needs, to visual or social snacking stimuli to get sensible about cutting down.
  • Just say no
    Your baking-mad colleague may initially be offended that you don’t want her tasty treats, but she’ll soon get used to it. Whether you have to feign a gluten allergy or announce your new no snack policy office wide, do what you have to and Just Say No.
  • Bring your own
    If you can’t ignore the boredom snacking or the social aspect of a tasty treat at 10.30, enjoy all the fun for a small percentage of the calories by bringing your own healthy snacks to munch on instead. From crudite to spicy seeds, find a low fat snack you love and stick to your guns.

Are you a chronic office snacker? How have you cut down on treats at tea time? Who’s the worst snack enabler at your workplace? Share your experiences below.