Sometimes I just want to eat.
The emergency cocoa-dusted almonds in my desk drawer. The abandoned yogurt in the work fridge. The plethora of candy in the vending machines. I want it all.
It’s not that I’m particularly hungry. It’s more that I’ve managed to plow through the snacks I’ve brought from home because they like to sit on my desk and stare at me.
Hello, frozen grapes. I love you, too.
Once I realize that I’m food-less, I sit and wonder what I’ll do when I get hungry. Does the vending machine have apples? I wish I would have brought carrots today. The more I think about food, the more I’m able to trick myself into believing that I’m hungry.
Not good. Mindless eating = no closer to goal weight.
Most weight loss gurus, healthy living bloggers and websites will tell you that you can do a few things to avoid such mindless eating. Drink water. Chew gum. Go for a walk. Brush your teeth. Get some sleep.
Great. Thanks. Just what I needed to hear. I’ll be glad to drink more water. After all, drinking a flavorless liquid is totally the same as eating a candy bar. Chewing gum? Tastes just like Doritos. A walk sounds great – especially after all of that water. I wonder if I should spit out the gum before I brush my teeth. Do you think my boss will mind a mid-day nap? After all, the Spanish have siestas.
Was that too much snark?
I am sure those strategies work for some people and, yes, they do sometimes work for me. Emphasis on sometimes.
On days when I just want to stuff my face, there are a few things that work.
Finding flavor. A hot tea or (gasp) a Diet Coke will sometimes satisfy that need to taste something. Coffee is always good, too.
Getting social. Go over and talk to a friend. Or someone you want to be your friend. If you’re smacking your lips, spewing gossip, you don’t have time to eat those Starburst. Just be sure your work spouse isn’t one of those people who wave Lime Ricotta Cookies with a Pineapple Glaze in front of your face.
Be good, then bad. If I really want something I don’t need, I make myself eat the carrots I brought. If I eat the carrots and still have room for the bad stuff, then go on and get it.
Go for broke. No cash = no vending machine splurges. Just be sure that your cookie pusher isn’t willing to buy a Twix and split it with you.
Just one bite … and then throw it in the garbage. You are certainly not going to pick that sweet deliciousness out of the trash with your co-workers watching.
Pre-track. If you keep a food diary like I do, write down a day’s worth of meals so you know your “budget” for snacks. Knowing that you need to skip dinner for something less nutritionally sound (and less filling) will make you think twice.
Wants vs. needs. That’s what it comes down to, plain and simple. Do I want it or do I need it? If I want that in my mouth, I ask myself: Do I want it more than I want to be fit and healthy?
Well, we all know the answer to that one.
How do you satisfy a case of the munchies at work?