Is your office break room full of treats? You’re not alone. From candy to cookies, it is the season for goodies, and they can be difficult to resist! While some of them are gifts from well-meaning clients or co-workers, others are merely leftover or unwanted food from someone’s home. Regardless of where they came from, what can you do when they take over your office?
Here are a couple of tips that might help you feel a little more in control of the situation:
1. Don’t set yourself up. Eat a healthy breakfast that includes protein to help keep hunger at bay. If you know there will be treats that you might want to eat on a particular day, you can cut back a little on morning meal to save some calories. Don’t skip it though, or you might end up eating more than you intend!
2. Is the treat “fabulous?" Is the delicious or is it just…okay? Is it a delightful homemade candy or cookie, or is it store-bought and dry? If it’s the latter, hold out for the good stuff.
3. Keep treats in a separate room, not in your work area. Research shows moving tempting foods to an inconvenient location, even just a few feet away, will help reduce your temptation. Better yet, move them down a flight of stairs or a long hallway away, so you have to walk a few steps to get there!
4. Institute a waiting period. If a cookie is calling your name, try waiting 20 minutes before you go get it. See if the urge passes. You might find that in a few minutes you've forgotten all about it.
5. If the treats have to be near your desk, keep them covered in a wrap that you can’t see through. It indeed is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind situation.
6. Avoid bringing in leftovers from a home party or other event, and encourage your coworkers to do the same. Yes, it’s good to get treats out of our homes too, so consider different ways to donate them to people who might benefit—a church soup kitchen, shelter, or an elderly neighbor who might enjoy the visit.
And as always, consider food safety. No one wants food poisoning over the holidays! Food should be labeled and dated and tossed if not eaten within a few days. If it needs to be refrigerated, keep it cold. If it’s perishable and out for more than two hours, throw it away. Consider leaving a list of ingredients for homemade items or a food label for store bought—those with allergies and intolerances will thank you.