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October 29, 2012
Diet Buster: Halloween Candy in the Office
Watch out for the sugar crash
MAYWOOD, Ill. - Watch out for that post-Halloween sugar crash on Thursday, as well-meaning co-workers bring in buckets and bowls of leftover candy.
You should be aware that dipping into the Halloween candy bowl can expand your waistline and decrease your productivity, said registered dietitian Gina Neill of Loyola University Health System.
A sugar high can lead to a few minutes of initial alertness and provide a short burst of energy. But beware of the scary sugar crash. When the sugar high wears off, you'll feel tired, fatigued and hungry.
Neill offers these tips for coping with the coming abundance of office candy:
- Make a pact with your co-workers to not bring in leftover candy.
- Eat breakfast, so you don't come to work hungry.
- Bring in alternative healthy snacks, such as low-fat yogurt, small low-fat cheese sticks, carrot sticks or cucumber slices. "Vegetables are a great healthy snack. You can’t overdose on vegetables," Neill said.
- Be festive without being unhealthy. Blackberries and cantaloupe are a fun way to celebrate with traditional orange and black fare without packing on the holiday pounds. Bring this to the office instead of candy as a creative and candy-free way to participate in the holiday fun.
- If you must bring in candy, put it in an out-of-the-way location. "Don't put it in people's faces so they mindlessly eat it," Neill said. She cited one study that found that office workers ate an average of nine Hershey's Kisses per week when the candy was conveniently placed on top of the desk, but only six Kisses when placed in a desk drawer and three Kisses when placed two feet from the desk. (The study was conducted by James Painter of Eastern Illinois University.)
- If you have to have a treat, try to limit yourself to a small, bite-size piece. Moderation is key.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.