Still struggling to shift those post-Christmas pounds? Your job could be the culprit, according to a new survey.
The study of 1,947 women found the average female office worker consumes a third of her recommended daily calorie allowance on snacks alone.
Over half (51%) of the women questioned confessed to eating between 650 and 750 calories worth of snacks each day with as many as 87% regularly squirrelling treats away at their desk.
The poll by MyVoucherCodes.co.uk revealed that chocolate was the top choice for 41% of women followed by the healthier option of fruit at 36% while 31% preferred to munch on crisps.
But as the average office worker spends most of her day sitting at a desk expending little energy, it is not surprising to learn that it is boredom, not hunger pangs, driving this voracious appetite.
Almost half (49%) of the women said it was simply boredom driving them to eat while 11% said it was to be sociable.
Mark Pearson, chairman of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, said: "In an office environment, it can be very easy give in to snacking on the treats available and resisting them can be very difficult."
Chris Jones, Head of Physiology at Nuffield Health, suggests the following strategies to resist 'boredom cravings' without losing your head:
1. Eat breakfast. This will help stabilise blood sugar levels and set you up for the day.
2. Take regular breaks for five minutes every hour, but take yourself away from your desk to avoid snacking - go for a walk to chat to a colleague rather than send them an e-mail.
3. Snacking is not bad in itself. Always carry healthy snacks with you to avoid the biscuits and cake that are readily available in most offices. Fruit, nuts, crudités, hummus, cheese, oat/rice cakes and yoghurts all make great snacks, but you'll need to plan and portion them.
4. Break the boredom habit. Keep a food diary and monitor the patterns in your eating. If 3pm marks a 'danger zone' schedule a workout or meeting to take you mind off snacking.
5. Occupy your hands with other things. Keep a stress ball handy or another desk game.
6. Remove food from your environment. Make sure colleagues understand you would rather the biscuits weren't kept at the end of your desk.
If all else fails stock up on these tasty, low-calorie snack options and indulge your cravings without the guilt...
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