You don’t need us to tell you that those free office donuts and weekly birthday celebrations are bad news for your diet (seriously, how can there be so many birthdays?!). But those aren’t the only work hazards stalling your weight-loss progress:
Mistake #!: You skip breakfast to get to office early
Sure, being the first one at your desk might give you a jumpstart on your task list. But starting the day without any fuel sets you up for a mid-morning energy crash, says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, author of The One One One Diet. As a result, you’ll end up scrounging for calories wherever you can find them – like those break-room pastries that always seem to appear out of nowhere.
Mistake #2: You always obey the call of your coworker’s treats
A mini chocolate here and a piece of candy there might not seem like a big deal. But these treats add up – especially when you’re reaching for them every day. Case in point: Three fun-size Snickers bars contain 240 calories, which is nearly the same as a full-size Snickers. Indulge every work-day, and you’ll take in an extra 1,200 calories per week.
Mistake #3: You eat lunch at your desk
It’s no secret that pizza and burgers aren’t the healthiest lunch choices. But even if you’re eating a clean lunch like a salad with grilled chicken, digging in “al desko” can set you up for trouble. Staring at your computer screen while you eat means you won’t be paying attention to how much food you’re actually scarfing down.
Mistake #4: You let stress get the best of you
You wouldn’t be human if a last-minute project doesn’t occasionally send you straight to the cookie jar. This happens because stress causes the body to release the hormone cortisol. In turn, blood sugar levels spike and crash, triggering cravings for sugary, high-carb foods. Remember that stress-related cravings are emotional – not a sign that you’re actually hungry.
Mistake #5: You don’t bring snacks from home
Sure, you might not think that you’ll need a midday nibble – or think you’ll save on calories by cutting out that afternoon snack. But when your stomach starts rumbling and you don’t have a healthy snack handy, you know you’re heading straight for vending machine chips. Or worse, to the coffee shop downstairs for that double-fudge brownie.
Mistake #6: You mindlessly graze
There’s a catch, of course, to keeping those snack around. Yes, it means you’re less likely to race to that dreaded vending machine at the first sign of hunger, but it can also make it way too easy to eat mindlessly throughout the day – and load up on extra calories your body doesn’t need. Limit yourself to two snacks a day, and pre-measure your portions.
Mistake #7: You regularly burn the midnight oil
This might impress your boss, but it certainly ups the chances that your tired self will scarf down the first thing you see when you finally make it home. Stashing a healthy snack in your purse for the commute home, or prepping your dinners at the beginning of the week, are two ways to counter that I’m-home-late-and-starving-must-eat-NOW binge.
This article originally appeared on www.bauersyndication.com.au with additional reporting by Natalya Molok for The Woman’s Weekly Singapore.