In the March/April issue of EatingWell Magazine we reported on a recent study that showed playing solitaire (on the
computer) dampened people’s memories of lunch, which, in turn, may have caused them to eat 125 calories more when they
snacked later. My first thought: Well, good thing I don’t play solitaire. Or Scrabble. Or Angry Birds. (What
is that anyway?)
Then it occurred to me: I dine deskside pretty much every day. While I eat, I read tweets, catch up on e-mails, flip through
a magazine. For me, all of this is work-related. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.
As a weight-loss expert, I know that multitasking at mealtime is not ideal: it’d be better to eat mindfully, savoring every
tuning into your food helps you lose weight.
) But, honestly, it’s not going to happen. I have two little kids and a
full-time workload. I don’t mind working through lunch, especially if it allows me to take a break for something else like a
walk. Plus, I rarely
do one thing at a time. It’s just not in my nature (much as I’d like it to be).
So I’ve come up with some ways that I think can help me—and you—keep calories in check when eating “el desko.”
1. Plan, plan, plan.
Decide how many calories you should be eating in a day. (Find your
magic calorie number here.
) Then, plot out what you’ll eat for your meals and your snacks. Choose things that you like,
that taste good. That are memorable
. Stick to the menu and you won’t overeat. (EatingWell’s interactive menu planner makes plotting out meals fun and
2. Stop before you snack.
Are you really hungry? Or are you anxious? Often I start munching
when I’m stressed and on deadline. If that’s the case, popping a piece of gum or getting myself a cup of tea often helps. Or
perhaps it’s time to stretch or take a short walk to get some water. An exercise break is even better. Personally, I’d rather
take a timeout to walk than to eat (which again I think I can do while working), as I usually return to my desk with improved
focus. Of course, this takes convincing myself that it’s OK to go for a walk during the workday and probably good for
Related link:How do you
avoiding eating when you’re not hungry? Weigh in on the discussion in EatingWell’s Losing Well community.
3. Nosh on low-cal crunchy things. When I’m eating at the computer, I can easily throw back
several ounces of nuts, which means consuming several hundred calories. So I reach for snap peas and carrots instead.
4. Keep a food diary. Countless studies show that writing down everything you eat (or drink)
boosts weight-loss success. Tracking forces you to take a look at what you’re really eating. Be sure to record what you’re
eating just after you’ve eaten it so you don’t forget anything.
Now. Tell me: were you reading this over lunch?
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