Escape the office snack trap

We eat up to three times more during a typical day at work than we do at home

Hardly surprising, because stress can make us crave sugar and unhealthy fats, and Debbie from marketing takes it upon herself to provide a constant supply of biscuits. Beat the ticking timebomb of temptation with this productivity menu…

  • 8am
    Breakfast: scrambled eggs

    The Feelgood Plan escape the office snack trapFive minutes cooking pays off: yolks are a great source of choline, a B vitamin that charges your memory. Eat them on rye toast and the complex carbs will power you through to lunch.

  • 10am
    Backup breakfast: porridge

    If you can’t face breakfast first thing, cook a big batch of steel-cut oats with whey protein at the beginning of the week and take a portion with you to work every day.

  • 11am
    Coffee break

    The Feelgood Plan escape the office snack trapCaffeine is most effective now as it promotes the production of more wakey-wakey cortisol (1). When you order your coffee, remember it’s the caffeine you’re after, not sugary milk or hazelnut syrup. A black Americano or straight espresso will give you a lift.

  • 1pm
    Lunch: stir-fried beef and broccoli

    Red meat is one of the best sources of iron, the mineral used to produce red blood cells, which help store and carry energising oxygen around your body. Meanwhile, broccoli is rich in vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron better. There’s a light at the end of your afternoon, after all.
    Salmon salad with red peppers, spinach and quinoa is the top vegetarian option: omega 3 from the oily fish boosts brain power, quinoa and spinach are good sources of iron, and red peppers pack more vitamin C than oranges, so you can be sure you’re getting the most nutrients from your nosh.

  • 3pm
    Beware the office feeder

    As the energy from lunch wears off, you may experience an urge to snack that makes you restless and unable to concentrate. Some people, like good old Debbie, get a kick out of feeding others. That’s her issue; don’t get involved. Be polite as you refuse, saying, ‘This is so tempting, but I had a big lunch’, but stick to what you know is right for your body. Eating at your desk doesn’t satisfy cravings anyway: snacking at your computer doesn’t make you feel that full, which inevitably puts you at risk of overeating (2). Make a cup of green tea: each soothing sip delivers L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve frustration.

  • 6pm
    Go home

    The Feelgood Plan escape the office snack trapFlying out of the office will boost your energy so much you’ll forget the cravings that have haunted you all day.

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