Office snacks that are usually offered to the employees for free are meant to promote work, culture, employee bonding and other several aspects. Whatever it is office snacks are certainly not meant to promote your waistline. In fact, it is the sole intention of the company to keep the employees healthy, free from illness and reduce absenteeism and lost work hours. Therefore, if you find that the office snacks are making you fat, know the reasons to it and act accordingly. You may be eating healthy diet at home but when you mindlessly drift from it during the time when you are in office then consider it to be a confession time.

Snacks provided at offices have now become a common perk to the employees and this is even more compulsory than providing health care and retirement plans. Therefore, you may find offices that do not have any specific retirement plans in place but will surely have doughnut Mondays, bagel Wednesdays, or guacamole Thursdays with occasional pizza Fridays. On top of all these special days there will be day-to-day snacks to fill up the multiple snack drawers.

All these may not be suitable or healthy for you and simply making these available and visible so easily to you could be the problem. When these unhealthy foods and snacks are added to the stress, sitting in one position for a long time, multitasking, procrastination, and boredom, it makes a perfect stage for excessive office snacking and an increased waistline.

The problems of snacking

Experts say that more often than not, office hunger is much different from usual hunger. It is usually not a legitimate hunger as decision to take office snacks is based mostly on different contributing factors and parameters along with several other psychological influences such as stress, boredom, fatigue, impulse, and happiness.

  • Location: When food is easily accessible you are more likely to reach for it and when it is for free you will be eating it as well to an extent of overeating. In a frequently cited study the researchers found that when snacks are made available to the employees at their desk they are likely to eat it 48% more than if these were placed at a rack 2 meters away. Moreover, when the containers are opaque, employers tend to eat less than if the food is stored in a see-through container. Therefore, if you want to reduce eating office snacks you must change the location of the snacks and the way it is displayed.
  • Free: Since office snacks are available for free there is a special frenzy to eat these and this is hard to avoid. This phenomenon makes even workers find ungodly shifts the most rewarding with the late night pizzas offered for free. But why is free food so alluring to the workers even though it is a simple $1 snack pack and not champagne or truffles? This is because the free factor has removed the barrier of paying to eat something though you are not saving anything in the process. It is human behavior that makes you think that if you do not eat a food offered to you for free, you will lose that money for no particular reason. Another factor that plays in your mind while nabbing those extra snacks is it will make you feel better if you do not get paid well enough in the end. If you want to reduce your waistline ask yourself why you want to eat it before you reach for the free snacks.
  • Be in a mess: If you sit at your desk for long stretches, it is highly likely that you will encounter a series of emotions such as stress and boredom that will trigger snacking. You feel that eating is the best way out of this mess according to a study published in Health Psychology. Therefore, work burnout is another significant reason that triggers emotional eating making you feel that it is purposeful.
  • Socializing: If you are looking for a way to socialize in your workplace then grabbing a snack seems to be the most effective and useful way. If you are feeling lonely and isolated snacking seems to be the sneakiest way. While you take a candy from the office candy jar, you will feel compelled to comment even if you have to say that you should not be eating it. Accordant to Washington Post study revealed that you will take a candy fewer times if the jar was kept on the desk of your boss.
  • Multitasking: You will eat more office snacks if you are multitasking though it may seem sometimes shameful to spread the snack dust across your keyboard while you stare at the computer screen. When you eat at your desk while multitasking, it is perhaps one of the worst things that you can do to your diet. This is on contrary to mindful eating. Moreover, you tend to eat more when you work on a digital device while eating. Have you ever realized how you can eat a bagful of chips or popcorn while watching a movie than simply eating it when you are hungry?

If you want to reduce eating you must move to a different location altogether. You may even swivel your chair away from your desk when you eat so that you do not mindlessly munch on your chips when you stare at the screen.

The solution

There are few simple solutions to overeating in your workplace that may be very effective to reduce your binge and waistline. Remember, office snacking problem is not a problem of your willpower, well at least not entirely.

Place a reminder on your desk such as the empty wrappers so that you know you have eaten already and also the amount that you have eaten. Such obstacles between your cravings and the few will certainly help you to slow down. The bottom line is to nix that candy jar and keep healthier food and water on or near your office desk.