Nutrition Experts

Managing office snacking

Question:

I'm trying to lose weight, but my biggest challenge is snacking on all the goodies around the office. What can I do?

Answer:

Congratulations on your weight management efforts! Some basic keys to success are to follow a balanced, calorie-trimmed eating plan, be physically active at least 150 minutes a week (for instance, walk briskly for 30 minutes five days during the week), and take small steps to make these changes a permanent part of your lifestyle.

Office snacks are a great place to start. It's hard to resist temptation when treats are everywhere you turn. The good news is that favorite foods can fit into a balanced, healthful lifestyle. Try these tips:

Remember, out of sight, out of mind. If the chocolate-filled candy jar is right next to you, it's hard not to indulge—and overdo. If possible, move treats away from your desk to areas you seldom visit.

Ask yourself if you're really hungry. Chances are, it's not hunger but the smell or sight of those fresh donuts that's tempting you. Curb the urge by taking a quick walk around the block or office. If you're really hungry, try one of the nutritious snack suggestions below.

Keep nutritious snacks handy. Stash nutritious options in your desk or the office fridge so you're less tempted by typical office treats. Bring fresh fruit and vegetables, light popcorn, fat-free yogurt, and low-fat cheese with whole-grain crackers. Or grab a fat-free latte and get a calcium boost, too.

Indulge—a little. Swearing off favorite foods forever isn't realistic and may set you up for failure and lots of guilt. Instead, work one small daily treat into your balanced eating plan—maybe a small bag of chips, a 100-calorie pack of cookies, or a "fun" size chocolate bar—and really enjoy it.