Cookies, chocolate, candy — it seems like the workplace is always full of sugary treats. Ignoring the aroma of freshly baked pastries or passing by a variety box of powdered, sprinkled and chocolate-covered doughnuts without making eye contact are often easier said than done.
While indulging in a sweet treat every once in a while is probably OK, a week-long binge of office goodies, followed by another the next week, can have a seriously detrimental effect on your health. Overindulging doesn’t just affect your waistline – sugar is one of the most damaging substances you can ingest. Among other things, overconsumption of sugar can overload and damage your liver, affect insulin and leptin signaling, cause metabolic dysfunction and increase uric acid levels, which can raise your risk of heart and kidney disease.
It’s unlikely that cookies and candy will stop showing up at your workplace, or at other social functions, so it’s up to you to beat the temptation and stay on track. These tips might be able to help:
- Appeal to your emotions
Sometimes, a food craving is triggered by an emotional need, such as wanting to relieve stress or feel a little bit happier after a tiring day. More often than not, people tend to ignore their emotions when considering whether to eat healthily or otherwise. Try to be more aware of your emotional food cravings, and consider trying Emotional Freedom Techniques — it’s a simple and effective psychological acupressure technique that could help you manage the emotional components of your cravings.
2. Plan your meals
Planning ahead can help you avoid making a poor decision in a hurry. Keeping a healthy meal or snack on hand can make it a little easier to skip the cake in the breakroom and munch on your own healthier treat instead.
3. Switch from processed foods to unprocessed, whole foods
Eliminating processed foods can help cut out the vast majority of refined sugars, processed fructose, preservatives, dyes and other chemical ingredients from your diet. Eating healthy, unprocessed, whole foods will allow your body to depend less on sugar and more on fats as its primary fuel source, and help you kick sugar cravings.
4. Visualize your goals
While many people cut out sugar with a goal of weight loss in mind, there is a multitude of other health benefits that result from removing sugar from your diet. Visualize where you want to be with your health and think of your goals whenever you need a little motivation to stay on track. A slice of cheesecake might make you feel good for a few minutes, but imagine how good it would feel to skip the cheesecake and know you had the willpower to stay on track!