Maybe it's stress eating, or sheer boredom, or the fact that one of your co-workers brings in killer homemade baked goods seemingly every day, but opportunities for unhealthy grazing abound in most office environments.
But if you consistently start your work day vowing to make balanced choices yet find yourself reaching for that second eclair by noon, don't lose hope!
Keep your nibbling impulses in check (and stay slim!) with these snack-smarter tips from top nutrition specialists.
n Stash your own munchies
If the woman down the hall keeps a bowl permanently stocked with fancy dark chocolate, slay that dragon by keeping a small stockpile of healthier bites in your own desk drawer. That way, they'll be at the ready when you're in the mood for a little pick-me-up. "Ration them out by serving size," said dietitian Keri Ganz, author of "The Small Change Diet." "Foods like almonds are a great, since they're a wholesome snack that help fight cravings." Pistachios and dried cherries are smart choices too.
n Brown bag it
Picking the right mix of food for your daytime meal can help fortify you against an afternoon attack of the snacks. "Include a fruit, vegetable, lean protein, and whole grain to help you stay fuller longer and have more energy," said dietitian Leigh Tracy of Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. She suggests making your lunch the night before, instead of in the morning when you're rushing out the door and may not have time to think a balanced meal through.
n Keep crave-worthy foods out of sight
If you can't easily spy the contents of that co-worker's candy dish, it's less likely to entice you. Researchers at Cornell University found that people ate an average of 2.2 more candies a day when they were visible compared to when they weren't in view. "If your co-worker is a candy stasher, offer her a dark, lidded bowl for her goods," suggested registered dietitian Samantha Cassetty. "A simple swap from a clear container to a beautiful ceramic jar could save you thousands of calories in a year."
n ... And keep them out of reach
Resist the urge to slip into the conference room after lunch to snag a leftover slice of pizza. "Take a few deep breaths when you walk by to bring you back to the present and remember you're not even hungry," said eating psychology and health coach Mindy Gorman-Plutzer. "Each time you resist a craving you normally would've given in to, you're building good habits, rather than repeating a negative pattern."
n Go for a walk
And not past the vending machine. "It's a great way to relieve work stress, even if you only have 10 minutes," Tracy said. And it's also a way to help you work through a challenging work project. Researchers at Stanford University found that creative thinking increases by 60 percent when you're taking a stroll. And if you even can't get outside to do it, walking up and down the hallways will help too.