Well, after defiantly claiming that Tuesday was the most productive day of the week in last week’s blog post – I seem to have spent most of today mindlessly reaching for the snack pile (metaphorical, not physical – I’m actually banned from housing family packs of wagon wheels and quavers in my desk drawers for the foreseeable future, on account of uncontrollable sugar crash tantrums *ooopsies) and by snack-pile I mean any which way I can beg, borrow, steal or simply buy something tasty (but nastay) to satisfy my cravings.
So, this got me to thinking, how can we all work a little bit harder to beat those cravings that hit in the middle of the working day? Salty, sweet, crunchy or just plain trash, we have all been guilty of reaching for the nearest treat or quick fix to satisfy our cravings on a busy morning, but this only ever leads to the mid-afternoon slump that has us feeling sleepy, groggy and irritable, which is not ideal for productivity and concentration levels in the workplace.
Changing health and wellness is a big deal, as we know, both in the work place and at home, but it takes energy, effort and determination to make them stick – and sometimes, when it’s a stressful, busy day, starving ourselves with that super-strict rabbit food just isn’t going to cut the mustard (mmmm mustard…on a hot dog…with cheese *slaps face with a bag of carrot sticks*)
Now, at Pistachio (my GOD where will the snack references ever END?) we are not experts in diet, nutrition or health and fitness. No, our specialities are innovative creative, digital design, branding and communications, but, we do have a very busy workforce who we need to ensure have healthy, active and healthy minds all day long, and an abundance of sugary, fatty snacks are not conducive to this – no matter how tasty Auntie Meryl’s homemade Victoria Sponge is…
Even when you commit to a healthy eating plan at home, clear out all your cupboards and plan your meals meticulously, you cannot control what your co-workers bring in, what clients leave on the conference room table and what is stocked tantalisingly close in the work canteen. So, we need to work extra hard to avoid bad habits at work to keep our brains positively fuelled with the good stuff, and to ensure that creativity and productivity flows all day long.
Here are a few tips we’ve picked up from the Pistachio team (namely one sole employee who is actually a sensible, healthy person) on how to beat the cravings and resist temptation:
• Pack your own lunches and snacks. It’s still the best way to take back control of your eating habits throughout the day. Even if you’re not the strictest of dieters i.e. you’re not surviving on a no-carb no-soy no-godamn-light-left-in-the-world diet. Packing a homemade lasagne or pasta dish from the evening before is still a lot more nutritious than any pre-packaged sandwich, salad or meal-deal that you can get over the counter and will fuel you for longer.
• Out of sight, out of mind. A recent study confirmed what anyone who has ever sat next to a tray of Krispy Kremes already knows: the proximity of snacks increases consumption and you’re about to go down in a torrent of sugar and regret. So, move temptations off your desk and out of your area. And talk to your colleagues about putting treats and snacks in a more inconspicuous place so that you’re not always confronted with them every time you take your eyes off of your computer screen.
• Take a walk! There are usually many reasons why you reach for a piece of chocolate that have nothing to do with hunger. Be mindful if you’re bored, tired, or stressed to the max with that one client who just.does.not.get.it. If you just got out of a tense meeting or find yourself dragging every afternoon at the same time, then try taking a walk outside, or sitting away from your desk for a while, take a deep breath, take in the scenery, read a book – anything that takes your mind off the stress that’s causing you to reach for the chocolate or caffeine.
• Drink more water! If we’ve said it once, we’ve all said it a thousand times DRINK MORE WATER. Yes it makes you pee a lot and yes it doesn’t taste of much, but it makes your skin shine brighter than the sun and protects your brain against the vat of wine you’re likely to consume at some ill-thought out time this week, it also, most importantly, keeps faux-hunger pains at bay and keeps you suitably hydrated. Be smart, drink water, and try not to drown anyone in it, if possible.
• Treat yoself – sometimes. Sometimes, banning yourself from something entirely can cause you to spiral into a binge and reckless few days of ‘cheat days’. Don’t do this, you are allowed to treat yourself occasionally, life is for living after all. So, if you’ve returned to your desk and you’re still debating how much you wanted that cupcake. It’s not worth dwelling on it all afternoon, and it’s nice to celebrate birthdays and successes as a team, so just eat it – just make sure that it’s truly a special occasion, and not a daily routine.
Please be aware that this article was not intended to substitute informed medical advice on health and nutrition, it is merely a collation of human experiences designed to help us all be a little more alert, awake and maybe a little trimmer throughout the working week.
To check out what we really do know about however, take a look at some of our latest campaign work here.
And remember, stay happy and healthy!