Break Room Blunders and Your Waistline
Office cupcakes for someone’s birthday? Leftover chips and dip from a weekend party? That break room snack could be wreaking havoc on your waistline. According to a recent study released by the CDC, out of 5,000 participants, an average was receiving an extra 1,300 calories in their weekly diet from snacking at the office.
According to the study, the main culprit is free food – those birthday treats and leftovers brought in by well-intentioned coworkers. While enjoying a break room treat is fine in moderation, OSF HealthCare Registered Dietitian Ashley Simper says those extra bites can add up over time.
“If you calculate it, 100 calories extra per day – let’s just say you’re doing that a couple times a week – it can add up to four to seven pounds a day over a year. So just one piece of candy can do damage if we’re not being cognizant of those choices,” warned Simper.
Simper has tips to avoid break room temptations. She says to start each day with a game plan. Shoot for three meals a day with snacks added, and to keep your snacks handy to avoid making impulsive unhealthy choices when hunger strikes. It’s also important to stay hydrated. Your body sends you mixed signals when you are thirsty.
“A lot of the time mild dehydration can get masked as hunger,” said Simper. “So if we’re sitting around all day and we’re working and we’re not paying attention to drinking, then all of a sudden we feel hungry, and we may go grab a snack from the break room.”
Simper says that snacking slipups do happen, but you need to remember to balance out snacking missteps with healthy choices throughout your day.
“We definitely know that there are break room blunders, so to speak, where people are just going in, eating and looking forward to that,” she said. “And they’re not counting those calories. They’re not paying attention to that, and they’re not offsetting that with a good healthy balance of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy and lean meats.”