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Well at Work

How to Control Cravings at Work


Stress is a major contributor to food cravings, especially when you’re trapped in the office. As your body reacts to stress, your stress hormones increase. This creates an increase in grehlin, a hormone that stimulates feelings of hunger, which can lead to cravings even when you aren’t hungry. While we can’t cancel your big meeting, move your deadline, or tell your boss to back off, we can help you deal with the munchies by following four simple steps:

Step 1: Ditch the junk.

Remove the candy bowl from your desk and empty your drawers of chips and crackers. The less temptations around you, the more likely you are to eat healthy. Surround yourself with healthier snack options like apples, grapes, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, Kashi Go-Lean cereal, or trail mix. Eating fiber-rich foods like these will help you feel full longer, making you less likely to give in to cravings.

Step 2: Plan ahead.

Prepare your meals and snacks the night before. Only bring what you need. Instead of bringing an entire container of almonds or other snack foods to the office, divide proper portions into plastic bags or containers. This will help you avoid overeating (even the healthy snacks) when you’re snacking and busy at your desk. Bringing your own snacks will also help you avoid the office snack table or vending machine.

Step 3: Make time for meals.

Within 30 minutes of waking up, eat a meal with carbs, protein, and healthy fat, such as toast with almond butter. A morning meal not only boosts your metabolism and energy, but also helps you fight cravings by keeping your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. If you let yourself get too hungry, you’ll be more likely to choose unhealthy snacks. While it’s tempting to stay at your desk and finish projects at lunchtime, block off 30 minutes a day in your calendar for a healthy meal.

Step 4: Eat healthy snacks throughout the day.

Even when meetings are piling up and your phone is ringing off the hook, eat something. Why? As your blood sugar levels decrease from not eating, cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods increase, so you’ll be more likely to succumb to unhealthy cravings. Avoid low blood sugar by keeping grab-and-go options like bananas and almonds at your desk.

Tags: Health, Stress, Food, Work