How to Effectively Handle Holiday Food at the Office

One great thing about holidays at work is all of the homemade desserts and candies that adorn the break table. One not-so-great thing about holidays at work is all of the homemade desserts and candies that adorn the break table. When you are trying to watch what you eat in an effort to lose weight (or at least maintain your current weight), a work area full of chocolates, cookies, cakes and fudge is like a mine field. You eye it with the greatest focus and intensity, looking for a way to get in and back out without becoming a casualty. Although this time of year can certainly put you in more tempting situations at work than normal, it doesn’t mean that you have to wave your white flag and surrender. You just have to learn how to avoid “friendly fire” so that you can survive your tour of duty, maybe even earning a medal of honor. Dealing with Plentiful Break Areas If you work someplace that has a break area that is usually stocked with high calorie munchies, it likely gets ten times worse during the holiday season. Co-workers bake and cook their little hearts out, sharing the fruits of their labor. Work is also a wonderful place to get rid of leftovers that no one wants sitting at home (because then they will eat too much of them). This can make the break area extra dangerous to someone who is watching their weight and trying to eat healthy. So, how do you deal with all of the food that sits there just calling your name? Probably the best thing you can do is avoid that area entirely. You don’t have to confine yourself to your office during the holiday season but, if possible, you may want to take your breaks elsewhere. If you can get outside, not only will it keep you away from the food, but you’ll also get a little fresh air which can give you the energy you need to make it through the rest of your day. Another option is to go to that area with your own snack in hand. That way you have something relatively healthy to eat when others are standing around munching on high fat foods. Additionally, you could choose to indulge in just one sweet that you really want so you don’t feel quite so deprived. Either way, this would be a good opportunity to use your SlimPlate snack bowls so that you monitor your portion size and take in more than you need. Handling Office Potlucks A lot of companies and businesses have potlucks around the holidays as it is a great way to hold a party without a lot of expense. However, the trouble with any buffet type of eating is not only that there is a lot of food, but also that there is a huge variety of foods. A little bit of this or a little bit of that quickly adds up! Luckily, there are a couple of ways to handle an office potluck, or any potluck for that matter, that won’t mean taking steps backward when it comes to your weight loss progress. Here are a few ideas:Take a dish that you can eat without feeling guilty. If you provide a healthy dish, at least you know that you’re going to eat one nutritionally valid food. Warning: Some co-workers are anti-health, so if you make a low-fat dish, you may want to keep it to yourself.
Scan the whole table before making your choices. To avoid the scenario where you are halfway through the buffet table and already have a giant plate of food, scan all of the foods beforehand and decide which ones you want to try most.
Choose foods you can’t get often. If your co-worker brings in enchiladas every other Friday, for instance, you can easily leave those off your plate as you know that you’ll have them again soon enough. However, if this is the only time of year that your co-worker makes her signature dessert, then that is a whole different story and something you may wish to consider eating.
Think about portion sizes. This is admittedly more difficult when you have a variety of food choices, but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible. Imagining that you are eating on a food portion control plate will help you keep your plate (and your waistline) from overflowing.
Every choice you make will either move you closer to your weight loss goals or further from them. Deciding to keep your healthy eating patterns at work during the holidays may be hard, but no one said earning the medal was easy. It is, however, worth it.