Healthy Holiday Eating Tips #4 – At Work

So far I have confined myself to holiday dining with family and friends, but the holiday season contains another diabolical source of bad food – the workplace.

A little personal anecdote here: I worked for a philanthropic organization for my final 10 years before retiring. Holiday time was a very happy period as we were deluged with huge tins of various kinds of popcorn, carmelcorn, kettle corn, etc. We would receive ten pound chocolate bars which were left in the break room with a knife for cutting off a piece. I’m sure it is no surprise to anyone that I weighed upwards of 180 pounds in those days compared with my low 150s now.

One of the reasons I no longer have a weight problem is the 180 degree change in my attitude toward food. I don’t think of food as a pleasure source in itself to be mindlessly consumed like I did as a child. I now think of food as a source of good health and fuel for my body and my activities. You can read further on Whether food is an end or a means in that blog post. I still enjoy the taste of food, but I don’t stop there.

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One way to look at office snacks is that those little Snickers Bars only amount to 100 calories. What’s the harm? The harm comes from eating a dozen of them for a total over 1000 calories, or more than half of your daily calorie budget of 2000 calories. As it takes 3500 calories to put a pound on your body weight, it wouldn’t take too many days of snacking like this to pack on some weight and waist.

Burning off the holiday treats

Burning off the holiday treats

Another way to look at it is: what do you need to do to burn off 1000 calories.
– One hour on the elliptical machine = 500 calories
– 60 minutes of lifting weights = 300 calories
– One hour of yard work, or stringing up holiday lights = 200 calories
– Or the equivalent of three hours of physical activity.

Maybe seeing the price you pay in physical activity to burn off a snack binge will help to put workplace holiday snacking into a clearer perspective for you.

Eat less; move more … and enjoy the holidays.

Tony

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Filed under chocolate, holiday eating, Weight

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