The typical workplace can be filled with temptations like vending machines, donuts in the break room and the candy dish on your coworkers desk that are like a minefield for anyone trying to stay on track with their healthy eating habits.

As a health and wellness coach I help people by giving them tools and mindset tricks that can make a world of difference when trying to reach their health and wellness goals. Shortly after I became a coach I quickly realized that although nutrition is an important component to everyone’s health and wellbeing, we have to start with goals, habit formation and setting up the proper mindset in order to be successful. Navigating temptations at work is no different.

My first tip is to pack a lunch. I know, it’s old school but hear me out. When you pack your lunch, assuming it’s not a lunch-ables with some donut holes to top it off, you’re already starting the day with the mindset that you are going to be making healthy eating choices and that sets you up with more willpower to refuse the foods you’re trying to avoid.

Next, stay hydrated. I know, I know but being dehydrated can often be misread as needing something to eat. So next time you’re tempted to snack, try drinking a glass of water first and wait a few minutes, you might surprise yourself.

Another simple habit is to keep healthy snacks on hand in your desk or another convenient place for when hunger strikes and keep them replenished. But what about those times that you devour food and you know you had plenty to eat for lunch?

If you notice you have a habit say at 2:30 every afternoon of making a beeline for the vending machine, stop and ask yourself why? Are you bored, frustrated, stressed or tired? If so, what can you do instead to feel satisfied without using food. Maybe you can get up and go outside for some fresh air for a few minutes, take a walk, visit a coworker or read a book. Plan ahead for what you’ll do at those times because here’s the thing, just because you’ve decided to level up your wellness doesn’t mean stress or boredom won’t ever show up again. Planning is key to creating new habits!

One last thing, I’m not proposing that you never indulge in another treat in the workplace. I’m a big believer that life is too short to never enjoy a really good brownie. Just try being more intentional about when you will and won’t say yes to treats or snacks. Those chips in the vending machine you’ve had before and they’re always available. That amazing recipe that Sue brings in every year of her grandmother’s triple chocolate cheesecake, maybe not so much. By all means, enjoy!


  • Colleen Cleary

    HHC, Founder of The Cleary Method

    Colleen Cleary is a certified holistic health coach, healthy habits expert, and independent rep with Zyia Activewear working in Portland, Oregon. She founded The Cleary Method to give her clients tools and strategies around mindset, healthy habits & nutrition so they can ditch dieting and get results that stick. In her off time she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, Jim, 3 kids Jonathan, Sophie and Maddie, friends and BRFs in the local running group she manages. She also loves running and racing, trying new recipes, camping, traveling, chai tea and dark chocolate. Learn more about Colleen and her coaching practice at