Stay on Your Diet When the Holiday Treats Hit the Office

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By Ann Brown

Published December 5, 2016, TNJ.com

It’s holiday time and that means more treats and sweets in the office. They will be hard to pass up, but if you are watching your waistline, there are things you can do so that you don’t get too tempted and go overboard.

“Rather than fall into a dangerous all-or-nothing mental trap which may cause deprivation or overeating, give yourself permission to eat the most appealing of the treats. If there is one you absolutely adore, enjoy it,” says author Karen R. Koenig, an eating disorders therapist specializing in the psychology of eating. “Enjoy treats without guilt, which is a terrible dining companion. Feeling guilty or bad about what you’re eating inhibits enjoyment. If you choose a treat, eat it with gusto and with an aim of enjoying pleasure.”

Don’t eat mindlessly. Actually, focus on the act of eating and you will eat less most likely. Explains Koenig, “Eat mindfully, which includes focusing exclusively on the treat. Take small bites, chew a lot, let the food sit on your tongue so your taste buds can do their job, and put your total attention on savoring what’s in your mouth.”

Remember, just because the treats are there, it doesn’t mean you have to partake. “Don’t feel obligated to eat everything someone offers you. Instead, politely refuse with a smile and a thank you,” Koenig points out. “Avoid feeling pressured no matter how much co-workers push treats on you or the fact that your colleagues are saying yes to them. If necessary, say yes and take the treat, then dispose of it.” Dispose of it discreetly as not to hurt your co-workers’ feelings.

Another option: You can also bring in alternative snacks. “Join in on the fun. Bring healthy alternatives to the office and share with your co-workers,” says Christine King, founder and CEO of YourBestFit, a fitness, nutrition, and design and management services firm. “Healthy snacks will help to curb the temptation of eating sugar and fat-laden treats and and allow you to be part of the fun.