It seems like jobs in offices were specifically designed for one reason: to ruin your diet. If sitting all day at a desk won’t do it, then the near-daily birthday celebrations (with cake and ice cream) will. What’s a girl on a diet to do? I can help. Here are 10 tips on how to diet at work… or how to stick to your diet at work.
1. Sneak in Exercise
So you’re stuck at a desk from 8 to 5, Monday through Friday… how on earth can you get in some exercise, not just to diet at work, but to perk you up a little? Easy! Rather than taking the elevator in the morning, take the stairs. Rather than searching for a parking space close to the office, park further away and walk. Rather than sending your print jobs to the nearest printer, send them to one a little hustle away. Burn those calories, baby!
2. Find a Buddy
Surely you’re not the only soul in your office suffering from dietary despair. Find a co-worker who’s also dieting, and form a partnership. You can provide encouragement to each other when temptation appears, in the form of donuts, lattes, or pizza parties.
3. Start a Group
If one buddy’s just not enough to keep you on the dietary straight and narrow, consider forming an affinity group at work. Why not? If the Accountants Who Love Chess can have a group, why can’t the Dieters Who Diet have a group, too? You can hold meetings, support each other, get tee shirts made, walk together at lunch… the possibilities and endless and awesome!
4. Look for Rewards
Whether you form a group or not, see if your employer offers rewards to people on the team who make healthy choices, like dieting at work, exercising at work, and more. When I worked at one of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, they did offer a discount on health insurance rates, and they had a special “points” system for every work-day mile walked… and the points could be exchanged for some pretty fantastic stuff (like new trainers!).
5. Ban Birthday Cake
There are so many ways to celebrate birthdays, so why does everyone in every office, everywhere choose to celebrate with a calorie-rich cake and ice cream? If everyone in your office agrees to it, ban birthday cake and ice cream and choose another way to celebrate, perhaps with a fruit tray (just as tasty and sweet!) or after-work cocktails.
6. Brown Bag It
Sometimes the most important way to diet at work starts at home. Brown-bagging your lunch gives you much more control over what you’ll be eating at work, since you tend to make smarter food choices when you’re not already hungry.
7. Keep Healthy Snacks in Your Desk
None of us mean to choose unhealthy snacks, yet we do, especially when we’re trying to diet at work. Avoid temptation and stick to your diet by bringing snacks you know are healthy, and keep a supply of them in your desk drawer.
8. Know What to Opt for in an Emergency
It’s snack time, and Bob from Accounting swiped your last packet of almonds from your desk drawer this morning. Scowling at him may make you feel better, but it won’t make you less hungry. It’s time for a trip to the vending machine, as long as you know what to avoid. Skip the candies, and opt for something with a little nutritional value. Dried fruit, roasted nuts, even a smidge of dark chocolate are good choices in a pinch… and a discreet note to Bob from Accounting asking if he’d like to chip in on snacks next time might keep him out of your desk drawer, too.
9. Watch the Drinks, Too
The first time I saw the calorie count on my mocha latte, I almost dropped and did a set of crunches on the spot out of guilt. That’s right: most specialty coffee drinks, iced and hot, contain about the same number of calories as a hamburger. If you’re dieting at work, don’t forget to count the calories in the drinks that keep you going. Your best bet, of course, is water… the next best thing is black coffee.
10. Keep Inspired
It’s hard to keep inspired when all you see are cubicle walls. Keep your nutritional and fitness focus by keeping a postcard of the tropical locale you plan to visit this bikini season, or a favorite inspirational quote, on your wall. Or give your coworkers something to talk about by keeping a photo of you, chubby, to keep you away from the community M&M jar. One snide comment from that skinny receptionist is probably enough to send you away from the candy jar and directly to the celery sticks, yes?
See, my darling? It’s not impossible to stick to your diet at work, and in fact, dare I say it, it might even be fun! Which of these tips do you think you’ll find most helpful for dieting at work? Or do you have another tip to share, one for sticking to your diet, or for keeping that Bob from Accounting out of your snack stash? Please let me know!