Have you ever sat in a meeting at work and felt embarrassed because your stomach was rumbling loudly? You couldn’t wait for the meeting to be over so that you could go grab a small snack. Do you find that you snack more often in the office than you do when you are at home? There are actually several reasons why you may be compelled to eat more in the office than you do elsewhere. Surprisingly, you may be eating for reasons unrelated to hunger. Here are 5 reasons you may be snacking when you’re not actually hungry.
First, you may be thirsty. People often misinterpret thirst for hunger. They reach for a snack when they should be grabbing a bottle of water. Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water each day. Health experts usually recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. One way to avoid overeating is to drink a glass of water prior to eating a snack. Wait a few minutes before eating to confirm that you still feel hungry. This will help keep you hydrated and you won’t snack unnecessarily.
Second, watching others eat may actually be causing you to feel hungry. In office settings, you may see people snacking throughout the day and can often smell the food as well. When you see others enjoying food, it lowers your own will power and makes it difficult to say no to food. The smell and sight of food may trick us into thinking that we are actually hungry as well.
Third, food is often left out in common areas. A lot of companies will keep food on hand in common areas as a way to make employees feel more comfortable and happy at work. It is hard to say no to a chocolate chip cookie when they are left on the table next to your desk. To avoid overeating, don’t leave food in common areas. You can also keep chocolates and other snacks in drawers or opaque jars so they are not as visible to those walking by.
Fourth, you may be trying to cheer yourself up with food. If you often feel stressed or unhappy at work, you are more likely to grab a snack. When you snack, you are able to focus on food for a few minutes instead of on whatever is stressing you out. Instead of reaching for a snack, try going for a short walk instead.
Fifth, you may be tired. Studies have shown that people are more apt to crave calorie dense, carb heavy foods when we are sleep deprived. When we are tired, the hormones in our bodies can get out of whack which signals to our brain that we are hungry. This can happen whenever someone gets less than 7 hours of sleep per night. The best way to avoid eating when hungry is to make sure that you are getting a full eight hours of sleep per night.