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How to avoid binging at work

October 19, 2016 08:30 IST

Do you eat because you are bored or because you are hungry?

IMAGE: Think twice before reaching out to that extra helping of food. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

There is no denying the fact that we all suffer from an insatiable hunger sitting at our office desk, struggling to get through the day and sweet talking our minds into believing that one extra filter coffee, chocolate bar, packet of biscuits or samosa will give us the added energy required to help us through.

But then the one extra turns into a full-blown binge, only to make us feel even more exhausted and unproductive, crashing down, head first, on the desk.

These binges are not only affecting energy levels and productivity but creating names for themselves on those waistlines.

Look at your friends or just look in the mirror and compare yourself to before you started working, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, and need I say more?

Yes, this is not always the case and I salute those who have managed to keep it intact, but it's for the majority and it is a problem.

The snack binges that we all go through can be controlled and eventually avoided altogether. Try these tips below:

Thirst for hunger

We often tend to confuse thirst for hunger. It's very common and our first reaction is to reach out and satisfy our hunger, not realising that all we needed was a glass of water.

Many cravings, especially sugar, can be controlled this way. Next time, try a glass of water instead of a snack and feel the difference.

Power your breakfast and lighten your lunch

Starting your day with a balanced and nutritious breakfast with a substantial amount of protein will keep you fuller for longer and result in curbing those binges throughout the day.

Follow it up with a light lunch and you're well on your way to a productive healthy day without binging at all.

Why do we feel those afternoon slumps? Only because we ate a heavy lunch making us lethargic and sluggish.

What are you bingeing on?

If you reach out for those unhealthy, high-sugar, high-fat, high-preservative foods then you're in trouble.

Snacking is not bad, but what you snack on is the problem. These unhealthy snacks increase blood sugar levels in the body (sugar rush) and due to rapid digestion, it then comes crashing down (sugar crash).

However, if you stick to healthier high fibre snacks such as nuts or vegetable sticks, you then experience sustained energy, with no rush or crash.

Keep yourself busy

And then it all comes down to absolute boredom. We eat when we are bored or when we do not require much mental alertness.

Hence, the entire bucket of popcorn is polished before you know it.

Keeping yourself busy around the office by doing something that requires some amount of mental alertness or problem solving will stop you from unnecessary snacking.

Help around and do things that keep you on your feet. It's an effort at the start but not only do you avoid those binges but also gain some extra brownie points in the office.

We all know that binging is bad, but not doing anything about it is worse.

Having a healthy body and mind is essential to productivity.

Start making conscious decisions about what you eat and be mindful about the way you feel. This can go a long way.

Samara Mahindra