I can't help myself when there are treats at the office/ free food in general. How do I resist? – Freebie Fiend

Freebies can be incredibly tempting!  Whether it’s the desire to save money, the allure of a surprise treat, or just pure convenience, most of us have trouble saying no to free food.  Unfortunately, freebies often come in the form of not-so-healthy stuff.  Between so-and-so’s birthday cake in the kitchen, leftover croissants and bagels from a breakfast meeting, and microwave popcorn, it can start to feel like everyday is a “special day,” especially in an office setting. 

If you’re having a dull day at work, the sudden appearance of free food is likely to brighten your spirits.  But keep in mind that just because everyone is grabbing a cookie doesn’t mean you need one right now too!  Listen to your body: are you actually hungry?  Are you just eating to be part of the group?  Or to take a break from work?  If you need to break the habit, here are some suggestions: 

  1. Combat the urge to eat a surprise treat by making sure that you eat a well-balanced breakfast and lunch, so you feel satisfied and are not so quick to graze the leftover trays.
  2. Keep your own stash of healthy treats at your desk.  Whether it’s an apple with almond butter, a square of dark chocolate, or a handful of almonds, you’ll have the option to snack on something that you won’t regret afterwards. 
  3. Avoid the area of temptation all together at the typical times they appear—out of sight, out of mind.

Missing out socially?  Grab one of your own treats or have a cup of tea and join everyone else in the teachers’ lounge or the office kitchen.  You won’t be missing out on the social aspect of the break, and you also won’t feel as tempted to dig.  Once you make it a personal policy to not partake of free food (unless it’s healthy, of course!), you’ll find the temptation start to dissipate.

What are the free foods you try to avoid?  Are you successful?


– Stacey Antine, M.S. R.D., author, Appetite for Life, and founder, HealthBarn USA

Do you have a confession to share with Stacey?  Want to learn how to improve an unsavory habit?  Send your stories our way to [email protected], and Stacey will help!

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