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How to combat office cake culture

Is your workplace too sweet? Try these strategies to cut back on sugary treats.

Hand decorated artisan donuts on wooden rustic table, from above

Whether it’s a staff reward, a colleague’s birthday or a farewell, sweet treats tend to be part and parcel of office celebrations. For many of us, most of our daily sugar intake happens at work – which can definitely make it difficult when you’re trying to improve your diet.

With obesity figures on the rise and an increase in poor oral health, we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you keep sugar levels down, and maybe even lead the charge for healthier eating in your workplace.

1. Consider low sugar alternatives

Introduce healthy snacks to the mix. Baby cucumbers with hummus are perfect for sharing, or you could offer around some nuts and seeds, or get a communal fruit bowl going. With a nudge of encouragement, your fellow colleagues may well follow suit.

2. Indulge a little, not a lot

Everything in moderation. You can still enjoy a sweet pick-me-up but try to keep it to a minimum. Reach for the small sliver of cake, the fun sized chocolate bar or the mini packet of chips.

3. Limit mindless snacking

Set yourself some boundaries by limiting your sweetened goodies to lunchtime. This will help reduce your overall sugar intake – plus your teeth will thank you.

4. Set a sugar schedule

There’s no need to be a Grinch about it; birthdays can still mean cake. But if there are a lot of people in your workplace, and therefore a lot of birthdays, consider organising a once-a-month combined birthday treat, rather than celebrating each one separately. This will help keep you and your team’s sugar intake down, while still spreading the love.

5. Keep treats out of sight

Research suggests that we eat more sweets when we can see them or know that they’re nearby. Roll up your sleeves and move the treats table out of your eyeline. It’s a small switch that can make a big difference.

6. Lead the charge

If you’re keen to take things a step further, strike up a conversation with your employer about how they might encourage staff to make healthier choices. They could re-think the workplace vending machine options to include popcorn or trail mix, cater staff meetings with sandwiches, fruit or nuts rather than pastries or muffins, and encourage the office cafe to offer healthy meal deals for staff.

If you can keep this up, your energy levels will stabilise, your focus will be clearer and your productivity levels will sky rocket. Wouldn’t that be the icing on the cake?

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