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We all lead busy lives, and our workplace can often be the worst of it. Cranky bosses, annoying co-workers, tight deadlines, fussy customers the list goes on. This can all lead to bad decisions in the heat of the moment.

A new study has found that workplace stress is impacting people’s dietary habits, as well as their wallets.

The study cited previous Harvard University research that found that stress causes people to eat more sugary and fatty foods, which in some people lead them to gain weight.

The study also found 65% who claimed their work was stressful spent almost $500 more on food each year than those who didn’t find their work to be stressful. That 25% who admitted workplace stress caused them to change their dietary habits spent $780 more on food annually than those who didn’t feel stressed at work.

So not only are you eating more foods that will impact your waistline but spending extra money too!

Below is a list of reasons how your workplace is packing on the kilos and how you can stop them!

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1. It’s a junk food jungle!

It’s a jungle out there and whether you’re in an office with a pile of doughnuts, pastries or snacks to the smoko truck that pulls up the second your belly starts to rumble.

Remember the 5p’s! Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. If you have everything sorted the night before for the whole day you are less likely to make bad decisions on the spot because of stress or time. It’s much easier to reach for your planned snack or Man Shake when you need it.

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2. You’re chained to a desk

For those of you stuck at a desk or counter you’re more at risk of weight gain not just from sitting on your backside all day but even the air conditioning is against you!

Studies have shown that our bodies respond to cold climates by eating warmer fattier foods… So the colder the air con is the more you will gravitate to eating junk food. Always keep your jacket on stand by and ensure you keep warm to avoid overeating in the office!

Try to get up and get moving as much as you can from parking further away in the car park to cutting laps around the office as it is good for your body and even your brain to reduce fatigue.

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3. YOU’RE A STRESS EATER

Boss on your case again? Try not to freak out: High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can trigger fat and sugar cravings, and can also cause the body to hang onto fat and store it around the midsection.

Being stressed is a common trait to carry in workplace, however, what we don’t want to carry is the craving for junk food that comes with it.

Try and allow yourself some de-stressing breaks and take a step outside every hour to allow yourself to regroup and recover.

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4. The boys want fast food.

If you frequently go to lunch with your co-workers, their unhealthy choices may rub off on you.

A 2014 review study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that people tend to conform to “eating norms” in social settings. In other words, if you know the boys are getting burgers from the takeaway shop, you’re more likely to do the same.

This makes sense, we all want to fit in and no one wants to be known as the bloke who only eats salad or drinks green smoothies, so you go along with the crowd even if it’s not what you’d normally order.

So when it comes to lunch take yours early or be proactive about having your pre-packed lunch or Man Shake and tell the boys to beat it. They will end up feeling guilty because you’re taking the healthy road.

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5. You’re not drinking enough water.

Sometimes you think you’re hungry when you’re really just dehydrated. It’s quite easy to go the entire day driving around in the truck, finishing the lunch rush or 4-hour meetings before you even get a sip of water!

Get a refillable water bottle to keep with you at work, and keep it filled. You won’t feel the need to snack as much, and when lunchtime comes, you won’t be as hungry and will be less likely to overeat.