Tuesday, November 15, 2011

10 tips to keep off the pounds during the holidays

I think it's safe to say that we all want to be healthy. Some of us will put the effort in, and some won't. I find it especially hard to make good food choices at the office around the holidays because I am a sucker for sweets. It seems like vendors keep the break rooms supplied with petit fours and pastries aplenty. I really wish they would make healthier choices when gifting snacks.

We all should recognize, though, that healthy holiday treats are not in the cards (the holiday cards, that is). With sedentary desk jobs, you MUST defend yourself from those evil calories that attack your health and bring susceptibility to high cholesterol, diabetes and other scary health risks.

Here are some tips to stay healthy at the office during this time of the year without dieting:

1. Gum. Find a gum you love and buy in bulk. Keep several packs on hand in your snack drawer. Don't forget to chew, chew, chew all day!

2. Avoid the breakroom and reception area like crazy. Out of sight, out of mind.

3. Find a health buddy. Sometimes, you need someone to help you stay accountable for your actions. Preferably, this would be someone who sits nearby and can glare at you as you take that walk of shame past their office to your own with the treat that's been calling you name all week.

4.  Be competitive.  Make a bet with someone that you either won't eat treats or won't gain weight. Wager something you REALLY don't want to lose.

5. High protein bars. Look for bars that have at least 15-20 grams of protein each. A good protein bar will help you feel satisfied longer. The good ones are a little more expensive, but more satisfying and taste better. Remember, you will pay far less for protein bars than you will for a New Years resolution diet program. I personally keep lots of protein bars in my desk year round. They aren't great meal replacements, but they'll get you by on those days when you can't get away for lunch (or dinner - we've all been there!)

6.  Cut it in half. If you make the choice to indulge (and you should every so often, guilt-free), cut your treat in half and take one piece. Do not eat it near the treats, or you'll be tempted to treat yourself to another.

7. Limit yourself to one treat per day and eat it right before you leave the office. You'll look forward to it, but you won't be tempted to enjoy another because you'll leave the office.

8. Take a vitamin. It is a daily reminder that you want to be healthy. I keep mine on my desk so I don't forget, and as a visual reminder of my goal to be healthy. Did you know they have adult gummy vitamins? They are like little treats in and of themselves.

9. Drink water.  I'm sure everyone has heard that your body interprets thirst as hunger. That's not true for me, but I do drink more when I have a glass on my desk and I'm going numb from reading records. Water is good for you and making it easily available to yourself will make it easier to stay hydrated.

10. Exercise. Hey, better to burn calories than to gain them. Once you realize how hard it is to burn them, you will be pickier about when and whether you eat them. When I realized I needed to run a 5k to burn a candy bar, I stopped eating candy bars.

The most important thing to staying healthy is having a healthful awareness of your habits and actions. Hopefully, this blog post serves as a good reminder of things you can do to stay healthy during the upcoming holiday season.


  1. Also, have a bunch of bananas and tea in your desk. Green tea curbs your desire for foods. I like to have some with honey. Hugs, and try to stay thin this season!

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