If there were ever a seemingly unavoidable distraction from your diet, it would be all those Christmas treats that seem to pop up on a daily basis at the office at this time of year. #TheStruggleIsReal.
But holiday treats at the office don’t have to completely derail your goals. Here are five tips to help you stay healthy and energized despite all the temptations.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Not drinking enough water can make us feel sluggish, depressed, and tired. This weakens resolve when it comes to resisting those Christmas treats at the office.
I know, I know, it means you will have to spend more time in the bathroom throughout the day. But think of the big picture for your health and waistline. Plus you’re up moving around and giving your eyes a break from that computer screen.
And besides, sometimes when you feel hungry, you are actually just thirsty instead.
If you do not get enough to drink on a daily basis, you will feel tired. You will feel hungry because your body thinks it needs food for energy. This sense of feeling tired relates to your body not taking in enough fluids, which help your body function better. Your body’s organs need water just as a car’s engine needs fuel to run efficiently.
If you rarely remember to drink enough water throughout your work day, consider buying a special bottle. Use a permanent marker to mark lines and write one hour per line, so 8am-5pm or however long your workday is. Try drinking some water at each hour on the hour until you meet your daily goal.
Healthy snack supply
Keep a supply of healthy snacks in your desk drawer to grab when you truly are hungry. If you have a variety of options that will satisfy different cravings, those other, calorie-heaving treats will seem less appealing. Stock up on some healthy work snacks including something salty, something sweet, and something savory.
Fruit cups, trail mixes, and nuts are great. If you can, combine nutrients in a balanced way that makes you feel full for longer. Think protein bars with a piece of fruit. If your office has a fridge, you can spring for a combo like Greek yogurt with berries or even a spring salad with chicken breast. If you love to DIY your snacks, try making your own energy balls. Pinterest has some great recipes here.
When you’re tempted to grab those holiday treats in the break room, head over to your snack drawer or fridge and make a healthier choice.
Make a warm drink
Water is your best friend in the fluid department, but other drinks can be very hydrating too while also nurturing you emotionally. Sugar cravings can be just as much mental as they are physical so fighting that urge with a warm drink can cut back on how much added sugar you end up consuming over the course of a day. Some great holiday teas to try are cranberry and pomegranate, honey and cinnamon, or horchata.
You could even spring for a no-sugar hot chocolate. Use a pure cacao powder and almond milk or a milk alternative of your choice for a comforting and nourishing treat. Warm turmeric milk is another drink to try. Turmeric and cinnamon can give your immune system an extra boost as the weather gets colder too. Try this recipe for warm turmeric milk from Flavour and Savour. Make at home and bring in a travel mug or heat it up at the office.
Remember your purpose
When treats are before your eyes, it’s easy to get caught up in the now. Wouldn’t that decorated cookie taste delicious! That’s why it’s important to have strong goals and a purpose behind your preferred diet. Think about why you want to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Is it for your family? To be more active with your kids and be a role model for them? Is it so you can have a clearer mind and stay creative?
Think about and write your reasons down on a card to keep in your desk. Take it out and read it whenever you need. If you want to take it a step further, find some pictures that represent your goals and keep them by your desk. Think about how you want to feel and what actions in the now will get you there. It’s probably not eating that cookie.
That being said…
Don’t berate yourself
If you do indulge, don’t dwell on it all day—it won’t make you feel any better. The holidays are a time for love, acceptance, and grace. You can reflect and come up with any changes you want to make to improve your resolve for next time, but then move on. Our physical health and our mental health go hand in hand.
If you want to be able to have a treat once in awhile and still make progress with your diet, add some more activity to your day. Take a walk at lunch, do some stretches at your desk, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. These little changes will help you feel less guilty when you do decide to indulge. A sit-stand desk can also help your waistline over the holidays—and beyond—too.
Give yourself the gift of health this holiday season. And remember: you can set yourself up for a successful 2018 with our workplace tips, tricks, and insights—including 7 ways to avoid procrastinating when you’re up against a tight deadline. Cheers!