Sweet treats are always readily available at work, and they are SO hard to resist eating even if you are trying to “eat better” to lose weight. By using one simple strategy, you can take back control and start saying no. Trust me, I was the last person to turn down a free doughnut, cookie, cake, ice cream, piece of candy, etc. My sweet tooth was so bad; if it ended up in my peripheral vision, I ate it. A bag of those Brookstone chocolates would be half gone by the time I stepped away. Now, it seems as if I am the only person in the whole department who doesn’t eat the tempting treats.
Why are you so drawn to sweets, especially at work, and how do you begin to walk by them without giving into their sweet temptation? It’s time to gain the upper hand on that sweet tooth of yours.
I think it’s a pretty well known fact that sugar is the worst thing you can eat when you are trying to lose weight, but your brain is hardwired to crave it. There are many reasons you are drawn to it, but let’s focus on the ones specific to your work day.
The AM Blood Sugar Roller Coaster
You eat a nice “healthy” breakfast (oatmeal, banana, or whole grain cereal) plus your morning coffee (cream, no sugar because you are watching your intake) and off to work you go. You’re starting to wake up from somewhat of a groggy start to your morning as your coffee and food start to give you energy. This lasts several hours into your workday when you start getting a little hungry, but you try to push through it and focus. The hunger pangs continue as your stomach begins to growl. Sounding familiar?
Well I must be hungry because I’ve been working out more and burning more calories
is what you tell yourself. You go to the break room because you can’t concentrate anymore and just need to eat something. The problem is, you didn’t pack anything to eat except for your lunch, and it’s too early to get into that.
There, in front of you, is the dreaded box of doughnuts you gave yourself a pat on the back for walking by earlier that morning.
Goodbye self-control. Hello doughnut.
The mid-afternoon crash
You often find yourself in a similar situation after lunch. Only, this time you can’t seem to focus because your energy is quickly plummeting after eating. You go on your daily search for that boost of energy to get you through the rest of the day. Typically, this comes in the form of a zero-calorie energy drink, diet soda, or a refill of that coffee mug. You happen to walk by that dang cake that a co-worker brought in for another birthday. If it’s not the cake, your hand may find itself reaching for the bowl of office candy because your brain is telling it to do so. You tell yourself
I just need to get through the rest of this day, but I will burn these calories later at the gym.
You hope you do, at least.
The stress-induced doughnut
Stressing out at work about a project or meeting can trigger our body to crave sugar. Stress drains your energy which makes sugar very appealing as a quick “pick-me up.” It also reduces your ability to have enough willpower to turn down any treat you know you shouldn’t eat because you are trying to lose the fat around your midline.
Boredom can also be a factor. Simply being disengaged at work leaves you searching for things to do or eat. Boring work certainly isn’t energizing, but that doughnut is. For a little while, at least.
Both of these are examples of mindless eating.
The first two scenarios are what happens when your blood sugar quickly fluctuates up and down in the morning and afternoon. They give sugar the upper-hand because your brain is wired to crave it in these scenarios. The end result is the doughnut telling you that you have to eat it, even if you truly don’t want to.
You can take the upper-hand
It’s simple, really, and I am confident that you can start applying it right now. Today.
There probably is a doughnut lurking somewhere in the office whispering your name, and you will give in if you don’t start applying this simple, yet effective mind trick.
It’s called the “eat your wedding cake on your wedding day” rule.
No, this does not mean you have to wait for your wedding or someone else’s wedding to eat cake. The rule simply is to fill in the following statement
I am choosing to eat (treat) because of (emotionally fulfilling reason/experience).
Your wedding is just what I think of as the ultimate emotionally fulfilling reason and experience. Your reason obviously doesn’t have to live up to that every time. However, it should fill you up on a deeper level-your birthday celebration, favorite movie release, friend in town, etc.
This simple rule has helped me politely decline and walk by many sweet treats at my workplace, gas stations, parties, and any other place sugar is placed in front of you as a temptation–everywhere. I can’t justify telling myself that I am choosing to eat whatever it is in those scenarios if I know that the experience isn’t truly worth it.
As you start to notice progress in your fat burning journey (which you will once you start turning down sugar), you become more selective of the experiences and even quality (Holtman’s has a special place in my heart) of the treats that you CHOOSE to eat. Another key strategy involves eating to control your spikes in blood sugar, but more on that later.
Quit giving into your cravings with mindless eating. Start using this trick now. Lose the fat you want to lose. Be proud of what you see in the mirror each day. If I can do it, I know you can.
Strive to thrive,
P.S. I’ve compiled the best of my lifestyle principles and habits I have learned through many years of self-experimentation that have helped me go from comparing myself to other guys who were more athletic and fit than I was to being proud of what I see in the mirror each day.
This 5-day fast-start guide will help you begin to simplify and sustain fat loss without giving up the enjoyment of life.
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