My office: I work at an awesome start-up here in San Francisco. We have a great group of people who are smart, talented and fun to work with. I head into each work day with a positive mental attitude, especially if I've had a morning workout before hand!
One of the easiest way to stay on track with a diet or lifestyle plan is to surround yourself with easy, healthy options for meals and snacks. I have created a kitchen environment that supports my lifestyle, and I typically bring food into my office to add to or supplement my lunches. Oh, did I forget to mention that my company pays for our lunches?! It's pretty sweet. I certainly appreciate this benefit. With the amount of money I spend on food every month, it's a BIG help to my bank account! I do not take this benefit for granted. Neither does my belly 🙂 What's more is that about a month into working here, I took control of making sure that we have good options for lunch every day by becoming the office “waiter.com gatekeeper.” I have no complaints about our lunch options.
The founders of the company also support efforts to eat healthier, organic food. Sweet. ‘Round about week 6 I decided to pitch the idea of getting and office CSA box of fruit and nuts. That took about 30 seconds for them to agree to. Yay! I had successfully conquered my previous lunch and snack dilemma.
My temptation: So…if we have good lunch options and an organic fruit delivery, where does the office temptation come in? Enter the pantry. Ah yes, the pantry. The pantry that is located within eye-shot of my desk. I can literally see right into it, and examine what's on the shelves at any moment.
The pantry is filled with what I consider to be non-foods. Of course they're “edible.” Some even moonlight as health foods, but most are not real food. They are either loaded with sugar or have little to no nutritional value. Eating most of those snacks will only send a person's blood sugar levels up far above where they would want them to be to feel satiated and balanced.
Thankfully, we have the fruit and nut delivery. There are also some dried fruit selections as well (mmm…apricots!). So when I roam into that room and think about what I want to nosh on to answer the growl in my belly…I at least have a good choice available. You can see how much real estate the dried fruit has on the shelf and fresh fruit has in the fridge, compared to the boxes of processed snacks and mass of cans filled with water, sugar and chemicals. (Click here to read what happened when I went astray and ended up eating the non-foods!)
Staying on track and avoiding office temptation, or temptation anywhere, is 95% planning and 5% willpower. Once you are prepared for meals and snacks over the course of a day, you're left with little room for impulsive decisions about food. It just takes a few minutes in the morning to plan for yourself or pack leftovers from the night before. You know that every day you are going to need to eat around 3-5 times, so failing to plan what foods you'll eat, well, you know what that leads to…planning to fail.
Stick to your plan. Keep healthy options easily available to you at all times, and remind yourself when faced with temptation that it may taste good for a moment, but you'll likely end up feeling worse after you eat it. Your body wasn't made to take in mass amounts of sugar or processed “food-like” things. If it's in a package and has lots of ingredients, it's probably not real food. If you eat what you planned to eat, and stare temptation in the face and say NO!, you'll feel better for it. I promise 🙂