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A man in a suit holding an apple in front of an office doorA typical day at the office: You rush off with no breakfast. By morning tea time you’re onto your third coffee. Since it’s a tea break you go for a large creamy latté and a big muffin. Lunch rolls around and you grab something quickly without thinking. By afternoon you’re feeling tired and groggy, so you go hit the snack box or vending machine and gulp down a Red Bull…

Welcome to the busy working lifestyle – where the combination of poor nutrition and high stress make for a sick and tired person – and most probably overweight as well.

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But fear not, you can survive your workplace without sabotaging your weight-loss efforts.


Counting Calories at Work: Coping With Treats

Whether it’s birthday cake or your co-worker’s candy jar calling your name, suffering through day after day of temptation is difficult for anyone.

“Out of sight is probably the best approach,” says Donna L. Weihofen, RD, MS, nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison. Weihofen cites a study that compared people’s snacking behavior when tempted by candy in a clear glass bowl on a nearby desk with candy in an opaque bowl at a distance and found, not surprisingly, that people snack less when the source of temptation is hard to scope out. “Make a rule that food has to be in the break room where you see it less often.” As for birthday cake, a little nibble during the celebration won’t hurt — just know your limits.

Counting Calories at Work: Surviving the Business Lunch and Dinner

Eating out is always a challenge when you’re on a diet. Weihofen is a big advocate of the “calorie bargain” — choosing tasty, filling foods that are low in calories and available on almost every menu if you look for them.

“I never have pasta because it adds up too fast. Have a little filet or fish and a baked potato and salad with dressing on the side. You can do really well in a restaurant if you make the meal plainer,” she says. Weihofen also recommends shrimp (as long as it isn’t fried) and says to steer clear of sweetened or alcoholic drinks.

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