Outsmart Workplace Diet Sabotage

Dieters beware. The office is a danger zone.

Business people having tea and coffee break
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

It’s one thing to stick to your diet in the comfort of your own home: You’ve stocked up on cut veggies and fat-free Greek yogurt, and the only person who sees you write in your food journal is your partner, who’s pretty nonjudgmental about the whole thing. But dieting at the office - with the endless supply of home-baked goods in the communal kitchen and the frequent fast-food lunch breaks - is another thing altogether.

I wish I could tell you to keep up the good work at home and let your guard down when you’re at the office, but because you’re probably spending half of your waking hours at work, that’s not going to fly. Outsmart the whole scenario by doing the following:

Eat Breakfast, Seriously

Everyone from your kindergarten teacher to your know-it-all best friend has extolled the virtues of eating breakfast. Studies have shown that if you eat breakfast, you’re likely to consume fewer calories overall throughout the day. Plus, eating in the morning can jumpstart your metabolism.

Bring Your Lunch

This isn’t exactly rocket science, but the BEST thing you can do to follow your diet at work is to bring a bagged lunch. If there’s anything that derails a diet, it’s feeling that fierce mid-day hunger and not having healthy food handy. Then it’s "hello vending machine!"

The beauty of brown-bagging is twofold:

  1. Packing your own lunch puts you in complete control of your afternoon meal.
  1. A healthy balanced meal will keep you from feeling snacky an hour later. 

If You Have to Go Out for Lunch

I get it - you’ve been cooped up in the office all day or you feel the need to socialize with your coworkers or you’ve been bringing sandwiches from home all week and you can’t stand eating another meal at your desk.

There’s nothing wrong with supporting your local lunch economy every now and then. And there are some surprisingly smart options at major fast food chains.

Pack Snacks

Not only will packing your own snacks help keep your hunger at bay, but it’ll give you something to munch on when you’re summoning all your willpower to avoid that birthday cake in the break room. And make sure to pack a few craving busters for the tempting foods you encounter at the office. Those pastries will look a lot less inviting when you've got a dessert-flavored snack bar at the ready.

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