How to Survive the Office During the Holidays

Calories, calories, calories everywhere! But no where seems worse than the place we spend the majority of our day. The office.

 From Thanksgiving to Christmas its an endless stream of treats and goodies. Clients, reps, patients, students, co- workers and business associates send or bring in all sorts of temptations.

Staff parties, get togethers after work, the annual Christmas party, and giving home baked goodies or items from a specialty shop all mean more food. Food that might not be on your Top Ten healthy list. 

If you are like most, your co-workers might be the biggest culprits. The overachievers who want to show off all of their superb culinary skills by bringing everyone in the office high-calorie, delicious homemade goodness. And insist on watching you try "just one."

Add to all of that, the end of year work related stress that leaves you short-fused, and sleep deprived and you are primed for a sugar-laden calorie bomb before noon!

Here's my top tips for handling this.

5 Tips to Avoid a Food Disaster in the Office

1.Recognize that just because food is there, doesn't mean you have to eat it. Are you eating because you're hungry? Or because you're bored? Before you indulge in anything at the office, take a moment and think about why you are eating. If it's a one of kind treat, offered only once a year, than maybe it's worth the calories. If it's something you could get again tomorrow, why bother? 

2. TAKE the time to prepare and bring your lunch every single day from now until the holiday craziness has passed. And not just any old lunch - think of some of your favorite, clean lunches and bring those, so you won't be tempted by the trays and trays of sub sandwiches in the break room. Pack snacks too. Things that are easy and portable are string cheese, raw nuts, veggie sticks, beef jerky, and fresh fruit. Always aim to eat some lean protein, some healthy fats, and fiber so you will stay full for a longer period of time.

3. Handle the food-pushers assertively. When they offer you tempting goodies, look them directly in the eye and say "It looks wonderful and I'm sure it tastes fabulous, but I am (insert one of the following: full, already had my lunch, limiting how many sweets I am eating this year, going to be eating in an hour and I'll have a little piece then, cutting back on in between meal snacks, etc). The key is to be appreciative, but also direct. If they persist, again, look them directly in the eye, and say, " Thank you, first name, I appreciate the time and love you put into _______ BUT (repeat your rationale)." Leave it at that. It show them you care but you have put up some boundaries.

4. Lastly, the most simple and direct tip I can give you. Avoid the food. Don't hang out where food is stored or sitting out. You'll constantly have to tell yourself "no" and repeating "no" over and over doesn't actually increase your conviction, it weakens it. It's like exposure to a cold or illness. The greater (more frequent) the exposure, the greater the chance you will catch the bug and give in.

5. Ask a few of your co- workers or Organize  a workplace lunch walk or other activity. What a great way to destress the office, get a bit of fresh air, and get those joints moving. On top of that it builds friendships without relying on food as the tool to bring you closer.   ​

Avoiding a disaster might not mean that you are perfect at all these tips all the time. But taking one or two of them and putting them into practice might help you keep the disaster at bay.

To your Health,

Coach Nancy

About the author

Coach Nancy

Nancy Carlson is a Certified Professional Fitness Trainer with the National Exercise and Sports Trainer Association, a Level 1 Youth Conditioning Specialist with the International Youth Conditioning Association, and is a Level 2 Certified Precision Nutrition Master coach. Nancy was recognized in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 as the “Best of the Best” Fitness Trainer in Southern NH by the Hippo Press.

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