The Wuss Who Took Half a Donut: How I Avoid Eating Office Donuts

donut(Trigger Warning: this post could be triggering to those who have had experience with eating disorders.)

Every Wednesday morning, come hell or high water, there are treats beckoning to me at the office, looking all soft and sweet and eatable. In my department, we take turns bringing treats every Wednesday. Ninety-five percent of the time, it’s donuts. Each person has their favorite international chain, grocery store, local shop, or convenience store that they bring donuts from. And most people generously bring enough for each person in the department to have not just one, but two donuts.

I usually eat zero donuts. Sometimes I’ll take half a donut. I did that on my first week working here (almost six years ago!) and one coworker took a look at the box and said “who’s the wuss who took half a donut?”

I love donuts—don’t get me wrong. But I believe they’re unhealthy because of the sugar and refined flour content, and that they shouldn’t be a regular part of my diet. I still eat them, but mainly on special occasions. Besides—there are so many other delicious sweet treats in the world! Scones, cookies, pies, pastries! I’d rather save my sugar allotment for something more interesting than have the same treat week after week.

Still, I mean, they’re donuts. They are tempting. So I have a weapon that I use to fight the temptation.

The Anti-Donut

Keep an anti-donut at your desk at work, or take one with you on treat days (if yours are scheduled like mine are). An anti-donut is something that’s a treat for you, but is still healthy—or at least better than a donut. It works best if you only eat it on days when you would otherwise reach for the donuts, or whatever treat it is that you want to avoid. If you eat your anti-donut whenever you feel like it, then it won’t have as much power to counteract donuts.

My anti-donut has been apple pie Larabars for a while now because they’re tasty but have no added sugar or heavily-processed ingredients.

Eat a Bigger Breakfast

It has occurred to me only recently that another good way to avoid the Wednesday morning donuts is to eat a nice big breakfast so I won’t be hungry when I’m confronted with treats. I need to be better about this all the time (I just don’t feel that hungry first thing in the morning), but especially on Wednesdays.

All Donuts are Not Created Equal

Another strategy for cutting back on your sugar intake is to research the different types of donut and go to the treat box with a game plan. A single butternut donut from Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, is 410 calories and 33 grams of sugar, while their French Kruller is 260 calories and 10 grams of sugar. A simple rule of thumb is: raised is less bad than cake, when it comes to donuts.

Fifty Percent Less Sugar!

If you just can’t resist the donut, maybe you have the willpower to have just half a donut. I do this sometimes, but I’m what Gretchen Rubin calls a “moderator”: I have the ability to allow myself a little bit of something without getting into trouble. On the other hand, some people are “abstainers” who find it easier to write their vices off once and for all instead of making daily decisions about whether or not to indulge. If that sounds like you, better to avoid the donuts altogether.

Anti-Beer

I’ve been using the anti-donut concept to drink less beer lately, too. For a long time, I was in the habit of popping open a beer every day when I got home from work. So when I decided to cut that down to two days per week, it helped to have an anti-beer to reach for on the abstaining days. I found that sparkling water is bubbly and refreshing and feels like a little bit of a treat, and it has virtually nothing in the way of unhealthy ingredients.

Do you use an anti-donut? Do you use this strategy to avoid some other temptation?

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2 thoughts on “The Wuss Who Took Half a Donut: How I Avoid Eating Office Donuts

  1. Smart strategies! I probably would eat half a donut but only if they’re donuts from a place I really, really like. A tip from Intuitive Eating: if things aren’t off limits or rarities they’re less exciting. In your case the donuts come every week (mostly) so it’s going to be psychologically easier to avoid them.

    My anti-donut is a rice cake with peanut butter and raisins. This is admittedly leftover from my dieting days, but I love the crunchy combo of a rice cake paired with nut butter. I sometimes do apples instead of the rice cake but that’s usually a recipe for a stomachache (go figure).

    I’m defnitely a moderator instead of an abstainer. Sometimes I end up eating too much (when there’s cheese involved) but I don’t usually regret it.

    I don’t usually eat donuts not because of their inherent unhealthiness, but because they make me feel like total shit (probably due to the unhealthiness lol). Weirdly, I ate two donuts today. We went apple picking yesterday and got the pumpkin donuts and apple fritters. They would be stale tomorrow, so I ate my share. Definitely regretting that because of the sugar headache I’ve got now!

    PS: Now I feel like I should add a trigger warning to a lot of my old posts …

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    • Those apple fritters! ♥♥♥ If they’re from the same orchard you guys took me to last year, those are some of the best apple fritters evar.

      I never thought I would use trigger warnings, but I did it to protect a friend who is subscribed to my blog and needs to not hear this kind of stuff right now. My blog has no particular focus ATM, so people could potentially stumble upon things they might not expect here.

      Like

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