Monday, October 17, 2011

Stuffing of the face

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?


  1. I still struggle with this, and I'm not even working. And because of that, I always have a kitchen RIGHT THERE.

    It is for this reason that nutella can not even be IN my house.

  2. Today I had microwave popcorn (97% fat-free) with I can't believe it's not butter spray and theater popcorn seasoning. Calmed my salty craving good, and didn't weigh me down! PS snark is awesome.

  3. To remind you of some other awesome advice you were given once. . . just park further away - that'll for sure work :) How's that for snark! HA! I'm laughing (hope you are too).

    Love that you shared this struggle but did it from the perspective of the little voice that we all have shoving us down the wrong eating path.

    Great suggestions - will have to remember them the next time I get the munchies.

  4. This is all so true. And those are really good tips for real life. :) Thanks!

  5. Call me crazy, but I've started putting my snacks next to one of the many pictures I have of my baby girl. Anytime I make a grab for the nut-butter jar, I see her little face smiling at me and it makes me reconsider whether or not I'm actuallly hungry.

    I want her to have a good relationship with food, so I want to be a good example and it starts with the choices I make.

    I know it's quirky, but it's working for me!

    It sounds like you have a really good system, though - so keep it up!

    Oh yea, I also like to stretch out the time between my snacks as much as I can. If I'm getting hungry, I sometimes take a 10 minute walk or go take a break with my friends.

  6. I actually find that chewing gum makes it worse. I think my stomach is like, "I know you're chewing up there... so where's my food?!"

  7. I too have some emergecy snacks in my drawer that I try to avoid unless for some reason I am starving beyond belief. Lately I have been doing the gum trick or getting a coffee to try and hold me over, but sometimes a girl has just gotta eat!