Over the last few weeks I’ve realised quite how difficult it is to stick to health or diet goals whilst at work, especially if you work in an office-based job or a job with a communal canteen or kitchen. Where I work, our kitchen has a table, and the table is usually home to any number of tempting treats – cakes on people’s birthdays, chocolate-y treats around Easter, local culinary delights brought back from holidays, as well as a big tin of biscuits that are topped up on a weekly basis!
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I can’t deny that it’s been hard to undertake six weeks of no-sugar when lunch is eaten in front of a smorgasbord of sugary treats. In the first few weeks of giving up (refined) sugar, when I was really craving chocolate, it really challenged my willpower to be constantly offered biscuits or having bags of Maltesers someone had bought on their lunchbreak wafted under my nose! Even this week, these are what greeted me on Monday morning, and kept winking at me throughout the day….
I think the key to keeping on top of health goals at work, as with keeping on top of goals generally, is planning and preparation. Although I haven’t given in to the sweets and cakes, the days when I’ve been more tempted have been the days when I’ve not brought anything in for lunch, or when I don’t feel that I have anything particularly exciting to snack on when others are tucking into cake. Just having something sweet, even though it’s not loaded with refined sugar, is enough for me, so I always pack in my lunchbox one or two of these to keep me going throughout the day. Some of my favourite things to stave off temptation (and generally enjoy as snacks) are:
- Smoothies (taken to work in a shaker bottle and stored in fridge)
- Fruit infused water via my Aqua Zinger
- Fruit and nut based products like Nakd bars or Bear Fruit Yoyos
- Dried fruit (without sugar added) like raisins or sultanas
- Green tea with a flavouring (the Twinings Green Tea with Salted Caramel is a bit yum!)
Other tips are, having a healthy and filling breakfast to stave off 10am biscuit breaks, and going for a walk at lunchtime to avoid grazing through your lunchbreak or any temptations that might be in the lunch room!
I was never a great lover of fruit as a child and I’ve grown up constantly reaching for a chocolate bar over an apple, so getting used to including fruit in my diet has been quite a change. It has actually felt like a great achievement to recondition myself to opt for an apple instead of a biscuit, or a banana before a run instead of a snack bar that’s loaded with sugar.
Because the workplace is so often a haven for unhealthy food, I absolutely love the concept of Fruitdrop. Fruitdrop deliver boxes of fruit to workplaces for as little as £20 per box (50 pieces of fruit). Fruitdrop’s mission is to help workplaces provide fruit for their employees – looking after their wellbeing and making for a more productive and happy working environment (more about Fruitdrop here). It’s common for bosses to reward hard-working teams with drinks after work or cakes and doughnuts during tough periods, but I love the idea of giving people a reward that’s actually really good for them too.
Our offices had a Fruitdrop delivery last week to try out the service and it was great! The driver came in to show us the fruit he’d brought (and he’d thrown in a few extras – he was so helpful and friendly!) It was a lovely sunny day, so we tucked into some of the fruit on the benches outside and then I put a box on the canteen table with a little sign telling people to help themselves.
It was a roaring success and the fruit quickly disappeared – I even got several emails saying how tasty it was (the grapes were a particular hit!) I would definitely use Fruitdrop again – we have a communal fund for tea money that also gets spent on bread and biscuits, so paying an extra £1 a month for us could mean two big fruit boxes to snack on, which would be great.
Is your workplace a temptation zone? What are your tips for not compromising your health goals whilst at work?