How to curb hunger and eat better at work

It happened again. You woke up early and made your healthy protein shake, and then you stepped into the office breakroom only to find a plethora of baked goods and sweat treats.

You think to yourself: “I can just split a bagel or get just a bite of a someone else’s muffin.” But by the time you sit down at your desk, you’ve tried three different pastries and have a whole bagel with cream cheese waiting next to your hot cup of coffee.

While it might not seem like a big deal, this 500-calorie splurge may have just killed your calorie goal, blood sugar levels, or dietary goals for the day.

It’s no secret that trying to eat healthy in the workplace can be a real challenge. If you find yourself wondering how you can maintain healthy eating strategies at work, we’ve listed out four ways to help you curb your hunger.

Come prepared

Planning can help you avoid unwanted calorie splurges. For example, if you bring a lunch or pre-packed snacks to work, you are more likely to avoid other food, because, well, you don’t have to search for energy or settle for calorie-dense meals and snacks that are “convenient”

Eat Protein

In one study, researchers monitored women who ate a high-protein yogurt snack 3 hours before lunch. The 14-gram protein amount in the yogurt cause a 20-30-minute delay in eating and resulted in them eating on average 100 calories less than the women who didn’t have a high protein snack. This study demonstrates that incorporating more protein can help people to feel less hungry, have better control over their appetite, feel more satisfied, increase their satiety, and reduce overall food intake.

Incorporate exercise

Maintaining a healthy diet and adding exercise will not only help you improve your health and fitness, but it will also help you curb hunger levels. For example, researchers have found that individuals who participate in regular exercise show fewer instances of hunger throughout the day with exercise.

Eat mindfully

Being more mindful about what you’re eating can change how and what you eat. Rushing through your meal or eating until you get physically full could prevent you from properly digesting the food you eat or causing you to eat too much. Instead try some of these mindfulness eating strategies to help you slow down and enjoy your food so that you can properly digest your food and halt the hunger response.

  • Eat more slowly.
  • Chew thoroughly.
  • Eliminate distractions.
  • Eat in silence.
  • Focus on the taste and texture of your food.
  • Stop eating when you no longer feel hungry.
  • Ask yourself why you’re eating. Are you hungry? Is it healthy?

Getting a firm handle on your hunger is critical to avoiding eating on an impulse. So next time the box of doughnuts arrives, feel confident that your daily exercise has curbed your hunger and you have a healthy high protein snack to thoroughly enjoy. If you need more reinforcement strategies on healthy eating, check out the 9 to 5 Fitness podcast for more tips and tricks to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle in the workplace.