Avoiding Office Munchies

After eating various lunches I find myself wondering why I don’t make certain meals more often.

Tuna salad is one of those meals.

Tuna Salad

It is flavorful, filling and protein-packed. It really should make more debuts on this blog!

To make my tuna salad, I combined:

  • 1 can chunk light tuna, drained
  • 1 tbsp. light Miracle Whip
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 2 tbsp. sweet relish

I then placed the tuna salad on a bed of spinach leaves and surrounded it with red pepper slices to round out my salad.

YUM

For some extra sweetness, I also enjoyed a banana.

The Spread

Pre-lunch, this little baby found its way into my mouth:

Cupcake Time!

It was a coworker’s birthday today and I had to help celebrate! :) (The Thanks on the cupcake is there because they were out of birthday cupcakes at the grocery store.)

Office Eating: Avoiding the Office Munchies

This little cupcake inspired my afternoon blog post because I started thinking about all the little treats and goodies that seem to pop up around the workplace.

Sometimes it seems like it’s someone’s birthday every day!

Cupcakes, brownies and cookies seem like staples in the workplaces of many.

When I worked at the Orlando Museum of Art after I graduated college, there was a two-month time frame around the holidays where the office was literally inundated with sweets and decadent foods due to museum event leftovers.

Bagels and quiche in the morning, pizza and subs at lunch and a tray of rich desserts in the afternoon.

My office just happened to be right next to the break room so I always heard people oohing and ahhing over the delicious goodies. I needed to call in a serious dose of self control to resist overindulging daily.

That experience helped make me aware that just because sweets and decadent foods are there at your workplace doesn’t mean you have to overdo it. A cupcake or a cookie is completely fine, but when birthday after birthday occurs and you find yourself eating several pieces of (leftover) cake every day, it can be hard to jump off the sweet train.

Here are my tips for handling the indulgent goodies that may pop up at your workplace:

  • Indulge… But Don’t Overindulge. Have a piece of cake, a cupcake or a brownie and enjoy every bite. Not eating what everyone else is eating may cause you to feel deprived, making you want the dessert even more, which could lead to overindulgence later in the day.
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Offer to put the leftover cake in the fridge, away from your viewpoint. When a large cake is no longer staring you in the face, it’s a lot easier to resist.
  • Keep a Snack Handy. I always try to have a cup of Greek yogurt in the fridge at my work just in case I am feeling particularly snacky. I always have a healthy go-to snack option and don’t have to resort to rich desserts to satisfy my hunger.
  • Bring in a Healthy Dish. If you work is holding an office potluck, offer to bring in a healthy side so you know a great nutritious option will be available. Fruit salads, whole wheat crackers with cheese and grapes and sweet potato casserole (healthified, of course) are always popular dishes.

Of Possible Interest

Questions of the Afternoon

  • Is your workplace inundated with sweets and indulgent dishes?
  • What are your tips for healthy eating in the office?

Comments

  1. Amanda Davis says

    My work place is always full of snacks…currently there is a tupperware container of scotcher-roos sitting on the table right in the middle of our work space. I used to find these indulgences hard to avoid because I looked at it as something I couldn’t have. Since I’ve shifted my diet away from processed foods, I now find it’s not that I can’t eat it, it’s that I don’t want to eat it. This makes a big difference

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  2. says

    Tuna is also said to be “brain food”, since it wakes up you and keeps you alert. I don’t have any scientific back up, but I know I read it some where once.

    I’m that person who brings in the left overs TO the office. Get that crap out of my house! It goes so quickly, too.

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  3. says

    I love Tuna, I keep a few cans at work for emergency snacks or if I don’t know what to eat for lunch.

    I make tuna salad like your but I also included chopped celery or carrots for extra texture and crunch and pretty much add volume to the salad.

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  4. MJ says

    Where I work now isn’t as bad as other departments. I work in a hospital and in-patient units are always getting sweets and treats from Doctor’s, for co-worker’s birthday’s, from patients or families of patients.

    This week we have 3 cakes.. 1 yesterday was to celebrate a birthday of a co-worker who’s birthday was in August but she was off work. It was healthy.. Angel food cake with light dream whip and fresh blueberries and raspberries. Today’s was for someone who left our department and was a few weeks late, it was a coffee cake, I had 2 small slices and enjoyed it. Also today someone left us some banana cake that she had made. Thursday is a co-worker’s birthday so there will be cake of some kind that our boss is bringing in. This is a very unusual week for us.

    I always bring healthy snacks: fruit, applesauce, yogurt, vegetable sticks, granola bars, Fibre 1 cereal (to mix with my yogurt and make it more filling)

    My rule is, if it’s something that I want I have a small slice and enjoy it. If it doesn’t appeal to me I respectfully decline and just say I’m too full but might have some later. (so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings) I love when they bring in treats that have cherries or coconut because I’m allergic to both so it’s easy for me to decline without feeling like I hurt their feelings.

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  5. Holly says

    I am a nurse, and I work on a unit with about 200 nurses. There are ALWAYS treats, birthday parties, holiday potlucks etc;. I usually just have to walk by it and it’s actually pretty easy to tell myself that I don’t need that stuff, especially when I have a healthy lunch in the fridge with stuff I love. And chances are, some other sweets and treats will be there tomorrow, so I’m not really missing out. I try to only indulge if it is something that I really like, not just eating because it’s there.
    A friend once told me that she tells herself, “I won’t have any this time, but next time I will”. She said it’s pretty easy to tell herself the next time too. I’ve tried it, too and it usually works.

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  6. says

    Thankfully, the treats at my office are kept in a room I only go to for heating up my lunch, so they’re not in my face all day. My strategy is to ask myself if I REALLY want it – it’s too easy to just eat because it’s there and because everyone else is eating.

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  7. says

    I hated our office for all the treats that came in and i couldn’t not pass them each time I wanted water, which was like hourly. I did finally let myself have some of the one’s that i really wanted and tried to remember that free didn’t mean it would taste good. Free was truly my issue!

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  8. says

    My office always has too many treats! Between certain people who always keep candy bowls on their desks, to left-over cookies and brownies from our meetings, to the frozen yogurt machine in our cafeteria, it’s endless! Some days I can stay clear but some days I definitely let my self control go a bit.

    I’m glad you asked this question. I’m trying to figure out snacks I can keep at work that are filling, that I’ll want to eat, but that I don’t endlessly munch on. For awhile I had almonds in my desk but only grabbing a few was too hard, I ended up eating multiple handfuls!

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  9. says

    ha ha… my office is occasionally filled with sweets and such- but that’s often because of me. Being as how the majority of people who work here are guys, I sort of use it as a dumping ground for when I bake and have a ton of leftovers… :)

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  10. says

    Thanks for the reminder about tuna salad! I always forget about the simple, healthy and quick meals I could make.

    My office is FILLED with treats all the time. I try to enjoy a bite or two and leave it at that. If I didn’t enjoy just a bit I’d be thinking of it all day long!

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  11. says

    My office used to be insane with the food. I don’t work there anymore though. Wednesdays and Fridays they served lunch- and Fridays were always pizza or hoagies. Nothing was really ever healthy and there were always leftovers in the kitchen. Beer too, they served a lot of beer. I’m serious. I just stuck by your rule of “out of sight out of mind”. I knew if i waited long enough it would be picked over and not appealing anymore. Sometimes it was worth going for, but honestly, most of the time it wasn’t. If i was going to indulge I’d rather go somewhere and buy a fresh treat that was kept germ free behind a counter or some glass. :)

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  12. says

    ah, i’ve written about this many times! we always, at all times, have candy and desserts in our office. one day, we got 100 bite sized cupcakes and a dozen regular ones. and that’s not atypical. unless it’s a birthday cake, where our whole office takes a break and sits and eats together and chats, or a dessert that i am absolutely dying to taste, i just pretend that dessert table doesnt exist. once i start, it is much harder to stop. honestly, i’d rather enjoy a sweet treat at night at home, watching a movie or while reading, or at a restaurant with a girlfriend. sitting at my desk and eating massive amounts of cookies while working just isnt appealing to me!! i like to savor my food with an equally nice experience :)

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  13. says

    My office isn’t too too bad the majority of the year aside from the occasional box of donuts that is brought in from time to time when certain salesmen come by. However come holiday time we seem to go through that 2-3 week period where there’s something new every single day!
    The key like you mentioned, have 1 but then don’t overindulge — although I always make sure I stay VERY clear of the donuts.
    I also always make sure to have snacks on hand and keep a tub of peanut butter in my desk drawer for any potential hunger ‘emergencies’ ;)

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  14. says

    my office always has goodies, and if we don’t then the office next door to us always seems to bring something from their office too. (sharing is caring!) i really need to read all these tricks cause goodies at the workplace is my downfall!

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  15. says

    My offices always seems to have random snacks and foods sitting around. The worst part of all is the 25 cent vending machine! Yes, 25 cents for anything you want. I try to stay away as best as I can.

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  16. says

    I pretend that the ickiest nastiest coworker used their bare hands, after they blew their nose, to make that delectable looking treat.

    If it’s pre-packaged I have a harder time saying no. But I do believe in the out of sight out of mind.

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  17. Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice says

    Mmmm cupcakes. I usually just try to avoid going into the snack room altogether. But your are right, it doesn’t hurt to indulge from time to time! :)

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  18. says

    My workplace–a school–always has sweet treats to offer faculty and staff. I have a rule for myself: no communal food unless it’s fresh fruits and vegetables. I never even feel tempted to enjoy the sweet treats, but if I were, I would just fall back on my rule. It works really well for me!

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  19. NMD says

    A little rule of thumb I use is to ask myself, “self, did you plan to eat this random bagel that happens to be here in the office kitchen at 11:15 today? or did you plan to get some water and go back to your desk?” usually the answer to the first question is NO! obviously exceptions can be made from time to time :)

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  20. says

    At my work, one of my co-workers husbands is owns his own catering business and he specializes in desserts! We are usually his guinea pigs for his new creations :)
    My little trick is I will get a teeny tiny bit of the creation, eat and enjoy, then walk away. If after a half hour I still feel that I am craving what is available then I won’t deny myself that craving. 9 times out of 10 though that little bite is just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. Although there is always those times when I allow an indulgence, because it is so dang good! :)

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  21. says

    I always make sure to bring extra healthy snacks to work. Just in case I get snacky and there’s unhealthy options available! Not to mention, we have a grocery store literally right across the street, so that’s an option as well!

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  22. Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries says

    Dramatic, but my life just got infinitely better now that you’ve moved your blog and I can see your pictures at work. The end :smile:

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  23. says

    Thanks for the tips!

    My old boss’s daughter went to cullinary school specializing in baked desserts. It seemed like she was making something new every day and leaving huge portions around for us to eat. I found myself overindulging every day.

    Finally, I put my foot down and asked if I could keep the desserts in the walk-in cooler to keep them “fresh”. Everyone agreed, the desserts lasted longer and I no longer had copious amounts of junk food staring me in the face every day. :)

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  24. Melissa says

    I always look at the food I eat as sort of a bank account. I have so much in my account & I don’t want to be over or under budget. So if I brought a sandwich, some fruit, & a granola bar for lunch, but I decided to have a cookie that someone brought in for a treat, I would just skip the granola bar. I just try to budget in treats. I think about whether or not I really want a donut in the morning & whether it will keep me full or if I’d prefer to have the breakfast I brought with me. Works pretty well for me, & I don’t feel deprived!

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  25. Katie (Sweets and Veggies) says

    Oh my gosh my office over the summer had something to eat practically every day. Usually it was some sort of dessert that people would bring from home. I usually would treat myself every once in a while because it’s hard not to. But think about it, if you see something good one day and avoid it, there’s a good chance there will be something equally as good the next day. I think alternating days you eat sweets and portion control are really good ways to watching the office munchies!

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  26. Kayla (eats healthy) says

    Oh yummy, I love tuna! I think I have a can or two in the pantry that I should crack out.

    I used to deprive myself of sweets, knowing that if I had one I’d want another. But I find when I deprive myself, I end up wanting it even more and then I binge eat later, taking in too much food!

    So if I want a cookie, I have one, and that’s it.

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  27. says

    I try to have snacks on hand so the sweets aren’t as tempting (in school- which I think is probably just as bad as the workplace, but I guess I wouldn’t know!) Or I try to allow myself half of something, etc. :)

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  28. Brynn says

    I love this post! I (very unfortunately) have the closest seat to the kitchen in our office! Yikes! It is so hard since I can see right in and goodies come in all the time. Since I started working, I can feel the effects of a few too many sweets, so your tips are super helpful and good reminders that just because we see does not mean we need to eat. Love the blog, as always!

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  29. says

    Great post chica :) Working in a lab I guess I’m not tempted by “office” treats but good advice nonetheless ;)

    I loooove tuna! I love making with either Greek Yogurt (plus dill, diced pickle and a splash of pickle juice for flava) or with hummus. They sound weird but I swear, so good :)

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  30. says

    Yes sweets are sometimes a daily occurence at my work. If I really want it I’ll eat it. Other times I am satisfied with my own sweet treat like fruit or yogurt. But if I eat the sweets, I will balance what I eat later on in the day by avoiding anything laced with added sugar.

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  31. says

    I know what you mean…even though I don’t work! My mom’s job is one of those jobs where there are always lots of clients in the office, which usually means a lot of leftovers get to go home with the staff. After a few doggie bags I realized that a giant muffin or a small hoagie for a snack is not a good idea… ;-)

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  32. says

    Ahh… office treats, I wish I had some right now. They’re rare in this office, and for some unfortunate reason, they always come on the same day.

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  33. Ashley says

    I love tuna salad and will be trying this recipe asap! Thanks for all of the great ideas, i honestly just found your website but am loving it!!! such great ideas!

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  34. says

    I love the look of this. I often make a lunch with a can of chick peas, a can of tuna, one chopped re onion, chopped basil. Mixed all together with some sesame oil and then some lightly roasted pumpkin seeds over the top. Takes about 45 seconds to make too. No cooking.

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