How to Avoid Sugar at Work

Three Parts:Managing Healthy, Low-Sugar SnackingMaking Proactive Decisions About SugarPreventing a Sugar Craving at Work

It is usually much easier to limit your sugar consumption at home where you have complete control over yourself and your surroundings. However, this can be more of a challenge when you are at work and subjected to the eating habits of your colleagues and the temptations of vending machines and fast food joints. But with a little bit of effort you can figure out how to avoid eating too much sugar at work.

Part 1
Managing Healthy, Low-Sugar Snacking

  1. Image titled Boost Your Energy Level in the Afternoon Step 2
    Bring your own food to work. A key to avoiding sugar cravings is to bring your own food so that you have more control over what you put in your body. If you are hungry for a snack at work and you don’t have anything healthy around, it is a very easy temptation to buy something out of the vending machine or to eat the cookies your coworker made. Some things that you might bring are:[1]
    • Fruit slices
    • Whole grain crackers
    • Vegetables and hummus
    • Unsweetened chips
    • Peanut butter
    • Salad
    • Microwave popcorn
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    Stock the office fridge with healthy snacks. If you happen to forget your own lunch or snacks one day at work, it will be beneficial for you to have healthy snacking options already there at your work. Leave only healthy items that are low in sugar in your office kitchen or break room to help keep your temptation low and to provide you with a suitable alternative if you forget your own snacks.[2][3] Some good snacks to keep at the office include:
    • Sugar-free or low-sugar yogurt
    • Unsalted nuts
    • Carrot sticks and hummus
    • Whole grain crackers
    • Fruits like grapes or cherries
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    Get your boost elsewhere. Many people turn to sugary snacks and drinks at work to get a much needed extra dose of energy during the long work day. Instead of resorting to an energy drink or other sugary snack, try something with lean proteins and quality carbs.[4] Some examples of foods you could try instead include:
    • A smoothie with yogurt, fruit, and a handful of walnuts
    • A glass of chocolate milk
    • A mixture of almonds and whole grain cereal
    • Salmon and half a cup of quinoa or brown rice
    • A protein shake with at least 25 grams of protein
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    Drink water. One of the easiest ways to stock up on sugar is by drinking high-calorie sugary drinks like soda, juice, or sweetened coffee. Make a decision to only drink water while you’re at work. This will help hydrate you and make you feel healthier and more energetic. But it will also help you decrease the amount of sugar you consume while you’re at work.[5]
    • If you need caffeine to start the day, drink a cup of coffee on the way to work, but don’t let yourself drink anything but water when you are actually at work.
    • If you feel like water is too bland for you to drink all the time, try flavoring it with some lemon juice.
    • Drink diet or zero calories drinks without caffeine. They will count to your overall water intake of liquids and maybe taste better than water.

Part 2
Making Proactive Decisions About Sugar

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    Make friends at work. Find people that will help in your fight against sugar, not enable your sugar addiction. Maybe you can encourage each other to avoid junk foods. It is always easier to make a life change, especially one that deals with not allowing yourself something you crave, when you have other people who are committed to doing it with you.[6]
    • Agree not to bring sweets in to tempt each other. Start making your office a sugar free zone.
    • Try not to bring donuts, cakes, or other sweets into work.
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    Don’t bring money to work. If you bring cash with you to work (especially change), it may be quite tempting to use it in the vending machine at your office. However, if you don’t bring any cash with you to work, you won’t have access to this sugar outlet and you’ll be more likely to eat something healthier or to avoid mindless eating altogether.[7]
    • Empty the change out of your purse or pockets each night and leave it in a container at home. This way you won’t be tempted to bring it to work and you’ll be able to cash in all of your change later once it has accumulated.
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    Write or blog about your food choices. Keep a journal (on- or offline) with all of the foods that you eat and how you feel. Writing about what you eat, whether it is for public viewing or just for your own personal reference, will make you analyze your food choices. It will also give you a reference to look back on to see what your pattern is over time.
    • Reading your journals in the future can be even more enlightening than the writing process was. It can also strengthen you when you are feeling weak.
    • There are also diet apps that will count the number of carbohydrates you consume in a day and determine if these come from simple sugars.
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    Read the food labels. If you are considering eating something, make sure you read the label first to see how much sugar is in it. This will help you make an educated decision about whether or not you should eat that thing.[8] If you are unsure about how much sugar is contained in something homemade, don’t be afraid to ask the person who made it.

Part 3
Preventing a Sugar Craving at Work

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    Eat breakfast before you go to work. Too many people don't take the time to eat the most important meal of the day. This can lead to insatiable hunger throughout the day as well as lower energy levels. A breakfast with lots of protein will give you energy throughout your day. Eggs and protein bars are typically healthy choices for breakfast.
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    Exercise whenever possible. Eat your non-sweetened lunch and then take a walk. Get up and move around the office whenever you have some free time. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take the long route to the bathroom. Do anything that will help you be more active.[9]
    • When you are active, your body is burning calories and the cravings for sugar will dissipate.
    • Exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes every week. You can even split it up into 10-20 minute intervals. Examples of moderate intensity exercise include biking, walking, gardening, and swimming in the pool. In addition, you should try to do strength training at least 2-3 times a week.[10]
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    Carry sugar free gum. If you are expecting a sugar craving at work, try to bring some sugar-free gum with you (or leave some in your desk for just such emergencies). Sugar-free gum should help satisfy your craving for sugar with the sweet taste while keeping you from actually consuming any sugar.[11]
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    Distract yourself when cravings hit. If you’ve done all you can to prevent sugar cravings from hitting you at work but you still find yourself experiencing a craving, do anything possible to distract yourself and the craving will usually pass fairly quickly.
    • Try getting up to take a brisk walk around the office.
    • Make that phone call you keep putting off because you know it’ll take too long.
    • Start a task that will keep your brain occupied – a conversation with a coworker, a project you’ve been meaning to tackle, etc.
    • Reach for a healthier snack.

Article Info

Categories: Food Addictions and Cravings