The healthy food movement continues to gain momentum in America, but all age groups—from small fries to big macs—are consuming well over the recommended daily amount of added sugar, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But what about the unhealthy habits that make up all of those catered lunches and celebratory cupcakes at work?
Many dental professionals cite the workplace as a primary site for sugar intake. And the office cake culture is contributing to the obesity epidemic and poor oral health.
Here are some tactics to tame temptations:
• Walk Away
Get up from your desk and take a break. If your energy feels low, you may need a screen break—not cake on your plate.
• Speak Up
These days, office kitchens look more like pastry shops than lunch stops. Simply serving salads over sweets and sodas can benefit employees, according to a 2010 study. Healthier options positively influence eating behaviors. Here are some nutritious options to recommend to your HR department.
• Decriminalize Desserts
Even though the thought of giving that ice cream cake the cold shoulder is enough to make you cry, don’t make desserts the enemy. The more you restrict certain foods, the more likely you are to crave them, according to Food Psychologist, Dr. Brian Wansink.
Treat yourself to the occasional office indulgence. Take a (tiny) 2-bite piece of cake and a put it on a mini-sized plate. It tricks your brain into thinking you’re eating more!
You can combat your company’s cake culture! Like that one motivational poster says, “The right choice isn’t always the easiest.” Let your choice be the reward. After all, a healthy lifestyle takes the cake.