During the holiday season offices are filled with all sorts of goodies to tempt your taste buds and expand your waistline. What can you do to maintain sanity and avoid stuffing yourself with all the extra food around?

Fat Facts

First, let’s look at the facts. Nibbling can wreak havoc with your calorie intake; adding too many calories adds pounds over time. Consider the calorie totals of some typical holiday office foods

1 doughnut 175 calories
2 chocolate covered cherries 175 calories
2 handfuls caramel popcorn 150 calories
1 brownie 227 calories
2 shortbread cookies 100 calories
Unplanned Calories 827 calories

To find out how these calories can add to your waistline, it’s important to know that 3500 extra calories per week = 1 pound of extra weight. Add up 5 days of steady grazing and you realize why it’s so easy to put on weight in the 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas! This doesn’t even include food at parties, family meals or other celebrations! Before you get discouraged, here’s what you can do:

Nibbling Know How

You don’t have to give up all your treats during the holidays. The key is to develop a strategy for how you’re going to deal with the extra food. Focusing on maintaining your weight and stress levels is a realistic goal during the holiday season.

  • Plan your treats. Plan to have one item a day, or less if you know you’re going to splurge somewhere else. Alternatively, bring in a healthy treat from home.
  • Out of site, out of mind. Keep treats off your desk and avoid hanging out in the break room. Standing and chatting in the break room can put you at higher risk for grazing. If you have a treat planned, get it and move on.
  • Savor the flavors. When you do decide to treat yourself, sit and eat without distractions whenever you can — concentrating on the taste and flavors of food can help you become satisfied with less.
  • Eat regular meals. Physical hunger over rides willpower and good intentions to stay out of the break room.
  • Monitor your intake. Writing down every bite you eat can keep you in control and is a great tool to use to avoid mindless grazing.
  • Stay active. Even during time crunches, every 10-15 minute bout of exercise burns more calories and helps offset grazing. Keep moving!
  • Don’t beat yourself up. If you find yourself grazing, figure out why it happened (stress, hunger, wasn’t thinking, etc), and move on. Exercise more or eat a little less somewhere else.
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