How to Conquer Temptations at Work

This guest blog post is written by OnPoint Nutrition, a team of Registered Dietitians and Nutritionist who specialize in one-on-one virtual nutrition counseling. 

All too often we find ourselves eating without even thinking.  The physical act of eating a meal or snack has lost importance in our rapidly moving society and is too often rushed right through.  This happens in many different settings and situations but SO often, happens in the workplace. From lunch and learns to someone bringing in a box of donuts, we're often hit with temptation after temptation throughout the workweek. And because we're already so busy (and maybe a bit stressed), we give in... 

When we rush through the eating process portion control is non-existent and the ability to make nutritious food choices tends to be obsolete. This thoughtless process leads to an overall loss of control. One of the first steps in taking control of your eating and avoiding temptation is to become more mindful.  But what does mindful eating really mean or even look like?  Mindful eating is being more aware of your eating habits, the sensations you experience when you eat and the thoughts and emotions that you have about your food.  It is more about how you eat than what you eat. 

In order to become more mindful about eating, try to implement these simple rules, in and outside of the workplace... 

Remove the Distractions:

Studies have shown that watching TV while eating can promote mindless eating.  Intently watching your favorite show leaves little time for awareness of portion control.  Do not multi-task, turn off the TV and remove all other distractions that mentally lead you away from focusing on your eating.

Sit Down:

Set your place with everything you need to eat your meal.  This includes a plate, fork, knife, spoon and glass of water.  When you have arranged all that you need, sit down and stay seated for the duration of your meal.  Do not eat while standing, walking around the room or looking into the refrigerator.  Staying in one place will help you to focus on the task at hand.

Eat with your non-dominant hand:

Eating with the non-dominant hand forces you to slow the rate at which you are eating.  Eating unhurried will increase your awareness of when you become full.  When you eat too quickly the stomach does not have enough time to send the signal to your brain conveying satiety, leading to overindulgence. 

Pause between bites:

Between each bite set your fork down and focus on what you have just eaten.  How did this food feel in your mouth?  What did it taste like? Did you enjoy it?  Are you still hungry?  After you have answered each question take a sip of water and continue to eat if you're still hungry.  Pausing between bites gives you and your body time to realize that's happening.  Continue in this pattern until you are satisfied, not until your plate is empty.

Save your favorite food for last:

Our minds often have the strongest memory of what we have last completed.  Save your favorite part of the meal for last.  If you enjoy your last bite the urge to have something sweet after you've finished will be less strong.

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