I think it’s one of the hardest social situations to resist, a homemade birthday cake or some red velvet muffins baked by your wannabe Great British Bake Off colleague. Strategically pulled out at precisely 3:42pm when you are at your most venerable. Quite often there is just too much sugar bounding around the office, so I offer a few tips to keep things more sugar sensible:
1. Alternative snacks
Ensuring you are organised with adequate snacks is probably the most important thing you can do to avoid temptation. If you hear someone is popping out for treats, eat some almonds then an apple. Apples have a high satiety (the fullness feeling) and will make you feel satisfied before the cupcakes enter the building. The almonds will keep your blood sugar steady and make for a longer lasting fullness, helping to avoid leftover picking.
2. Find an ally
There must be someone else in your office who doesn’t want to give in when faced with too much sugar, so go hunt them down. A partner in crime is the best person to motivate you. If they don’t have anything then you will feel five times more guilty if you do. You’ll be best friends by the Christmas party and you can get them to sign up to the Happy Sugar Habits weekly e-mail tip and news.
3. Don’t feel obliged
This was one of my hardest to overcome and my ultimate excuse.
“They’ve gone to the effort to make or buy something. I shouldn’t be ungrateful and I should appreciate such generous gestures by EATING IT”
Ultimately if everyone else eats it, you are not going to make a massive dent in this person’s pride and assuming they are somewhat mature, they won’t sulk for the rest of the afternoon. ‘Looks lovely but no thank you’ is still polite.
Besides, the more you accept on these occasions, the more that person assumes it makes you happy, and the more it gets repeated. If someone brought in some ox penis would you eat it to be kind? If no, then point made. If yes, I urge you to offer – would they do the same for you?
4. Suggest healthier bakes or snacks
Why not try a healthy Graze Box of nuts and savoury pickings. Alternatively, try to discuss the use of sugar substitutes with your resident baker. Even point them in the direction of Naturally Sweet Recipes, which has a huge array of healthier sweet treats to keep them occupied.
5. Distract yourself
Get the printing done, fill up your water cup, walk around the filing cabinets looking strange. Anything! Just think up some creative ways to temporarily distract yourself. Check your Facebook and you’re almost guaranteed to get sidetracked from sweet thoughts by browsing photos of someone random you don’t even know.
6. If you do cave, make some rules
Occasionally you will give in and the first thing you should do is not beat yourself up about it. Be kind to yourself and be conscious you don’t go overboard eating more when the sugar crash hits later. Secondly, set yourself some rules to cut down on lapses e.g. only eating homemade produce and nothing out of a package. If you want to be really tough, only on Friday 13th!
7. Feel motivated by the end goal
Just remind yourself that when you’re off the sugar hook you won’t need many tactics. If you successfully kick it, you really won’t trust me.
Donuts and cookies suddenly appeared this week in my office. As a newbie I hadn’t seen it happen before, so I wasn’t sure of the reason. I even took a picture as the commotion ensued and crowds gathered.
For a split second it crossed my mind. Just a split second, compared to previously what would’ve been an afternoon of torture with my will power, likely ending when I give in to it being a ‘special occasion’ (where I have no idea what it actually is). However, it didn’t cross my mind for the rest of the afternoon and I didn’t feel like I was missing out. I still talked to people the same way, focused on my work and contently enjoyed my tea.
Hopefully you will avoid too much sugar in the office with a few of these tips, especially with the festive season in tow. It’s not easy I know, particularly if the day has been a bang head on the desk struggle. Just think of how confident and healthy you will feel at the Christmas party.
How do you feel about 3pm treats? Do you have any handy hints for avoiding too much sugar in the office? Is there a weekly ritual that’s become a hard habit to stop?