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How To Stick To Your Diet At Work

Harper’s BAZAAR logo Harper’s BAZAAR 14/10/2018 Grace O'Neill
a person taking a selfie: How To Stick To Your Diet At Work © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd How To Stick To Your Diet At Work

Sticking to a diet plan is hard. I know. I know because I started the year with an internal promise that I would look like Lily Aldridge by December, and I ended up breaking my clean eating streak with a large serving of baked ricotta cheesecake less than a week in. No, eating a slice of cake isn't a mortal sin, but it is the culinary version of a gateway drug, and by that night I was at the Unicorn pub in Paddington, drinking craft beer and eating mashed potatoes with gravy and not running around the park near my house 14 times as planned.

Not coincidentally, the Great Ricotta Cheesecake Incident of 2016 coincided with my first day back at work. The BAZAAR office has been the source of many an afternoon indulgence (the time we 'test-drove' wedding cakes, including a stack of maple-syrup donuts for BAZAAR Bride springs to mind), and considering us modern humans spend the majority of our waking hours in our place of work it's no wonder so many of us are breaking our healthy habits from the comfort of our own desks.

Determined not to let my one slip-up ruin a perfectly good year of yoga classes, smoked salmon salads and kombucha drinking, I set out to discover the best ways to stick to your diet, at work, all year. Here, seven tips to follow.


I am a huge believer in the snack drawer. In fact, in between writing this article I walked to Woolworths and replenished my snack drawer stocks. Macro do snack-sized bags of flavoured nuts for $1 and sweet and savoury Chia pots (Mango, coconut and pineapple is a personal favourite), Emma & Tom's do great energy bars and Chobani strained yoghurt is amazing.

Having a snack drawer filled with healthy goods means you have no excuse for going to the vending machine and eating crap come 3pm (for a comprehensive list of 3pm snacks, see here).


No, seriously. According to a joint study by two American universities (Duke and Arizona State), women mirror the eating habits of the women around them. Which means if someone in the office wants a sweet treat or a 3pm indulgence, you're likely to follow suit. Being aware is the only defence, but it's a good one.


Yes, we're all told that we need to drink two litres of water a day, but the truth is most of us simply forget. Running to and from the office kitchen refilling a glass or small water bottle is also a nuisance.

Investing in a ridiculously big water container, like an 800ml Voss bottle, means you'll be absent-mindedly drinking water all day, therefore quenching your appetite and stopping your body from mistaking thirst for hunger. Two bottles worth and your daily dose is almost done!


By telling your co-workers that you are trying to eat healthy/ are on a diet is the best way to stop them from offering you sweets and unhealthy snacks. Is this scientifically proven? No. But it is common sense. Announce to the office that if anyone offers you a donut or anything covered in chocolate they are morally corrupt—that should do the trick.


While evidence that eating six small meals a day as opposed to the regular three leads to weight loss is inconclusive, research did find that people who eat fewer meals throughout the day tend to feel less hungry, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The danger with grazing throughout the day is calorie control, but if you're strict about your portions and what you're eating, it can be a good way to reduce unnecessary snacking.


If you use your lunch break to go for a run or hit a Barre class, it's scientifically proven that you're going to feel ravenous afterwards.

Kayla Itsines recommends exercising straight before lunch, so you can eat a nourishing meal (she recommends something carbohydrate heavy with a lean meat, like turkey or tuna) straight after your work out. This, she says, will stop you from gorging on a sugary, low energy snack on the way back from the gym, hence undoing all your good work.


Leaving your desk and physically walking outside of your building to get lunch is proven to increase workplace productivity and enthusiasm, but it can also stop mindless grazing.

Eating at your desk means you're often eating while you work and not paying attention to how many calories consumed or whether or not you are full. Stopping and sitting down at a table will make for more mindful eating.

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