When I worked at WCMH-TV in Columbus Ohio, we had a “trough”. It was basically a long counter, right in the middle of the newsroom, that was used during the news hours for directors to lay and edit their scripts. The rest of the time, it was a dumping ground for calories. Birthday cakes, deli trays, candy bowls, leftovers from our cooking shows—it was either your best friend, or your enemy.
If you are trying to lose weight, the workplace can be a minefield. Co-workers can sabotage your weight loss efforts simply by “sharing”. I can’t tell you how many extra calories I ate, simply by stopping by a colleague’s desk to chat, and mindlessly checking her community candy drawer.
According to , a 2006 study found that secretaries who were given clear jars filled with chocolates reached for a sweet treat 71% more often than those given candies in a jar they couldn’t see into. As long as the clear dish was visible, the secretary ate 77 more calories a day. That’s about an extra five pounds a year.
Coffee breaks, corporate parties, and co-worker celebrations all foster camaraderie, but are just excuses to mindlessly eat. So here’s a few ways to tame workplace temptation. You may occasionally look like the “party pooper”, but your slimmer figure may just prove to be inspiring to others!
- Cover any goodies on your desk, or whatever communal “trough” you have in your office.
- Avoid desktop dining. If you know your favorite co-worker has a jar on her desk, don’t stop by to chat. Meet in a conference room, talk a walk (hey, accidental exercise!) or have someone else drop off the file you were bringing over.
- Set an example by bringing in healthier snacks like fresh fruit, and replace the candy with nuts or dried fruit.
- If you are dining with a co-worker, split large portions.
- If there are donuts or pastries in open boxes in your lunch room, close the boxes. Be a trend setter and leave veggies out for healthier grazing.
- Support co-workers who are trying to lose weight. You can bet YOU aren’t the only one in your office who struggles with too much 9-to-5 eating!