Transitioning from college
to funemployment to the workplace comes with a lot of lifestyle changes. From your sleep patterns to your social life, a lot can change in just a few months! Since I’ve recently gone through these phases, I’d love to share some thoughts on how to make the transition a smooth one.
Senior year of college, I was on top of my game. I had a jam-packed schedule and thrived on being busy. I planned my workouts and even my meals (a little too Type-A style) in advance.
When I graduated and was working part-time while looking for a job in my field, I had plenty of spare time. I used that time for job apps, shopping (haha) and half marathon training, typically working out 2x a day.
Now that I’m working a full-time desk job, I’ve found that:
- I walk less. I used to walk to campus, now I hardly walk anywhere unless I make the conscious decision to.
- Workouts are calculated. Before, with extra time came extra activity. I could do a quick morning run and a Body Pump class later without batting an eyelash — now I like to spend 60 minutes MAX at the gym, since work already takes up so much of my day.
- Temptations are everywhere. Soda, candy, chips, cake, BBQ, pizza … somehow it all makes its way into my office. Plus, moving to a “foodie” city like Austin = dining out a lot more than usual.
- The night-time snack struggle is real. I’ll be honest – after a long day at work, sometimes I just want to come home and nosh on all my comfort foods. The struggle is so real!
Here is how I’ve been able to deal with these challenges and “snack for success” at work.
1. Think twice about hitting the candy stash. We have a giant bowl AND a filing cabinet (why?) full of candy. It’s one of those deals where you only eat it because it’s there. But let’s be honest – Tootsie Rolls, peppermints and, dare I say, mini Twix bars aren’t even that good! I remind myself that I’d rather save my calories for the good stuff.
2. Snack strategically. Depending on my meal/workout schedule, I’ll have 1-2 snacks at work. I try to have something every 3 hours or so, and never let myself get too hungry. I keep a bag of almonds at my desk and a Larabar or two in my bag for snack “emergencies.”
Also, it’s easy to feel deprived when everyone’s having cake and you’re having health food. I make sure my snacks are something I truly enjoy. That way, I look forward to snack time.
3. Bring more than you think you’ll need. When I’m packing my lunch/snacks in the morning, I’m usually full from breakfast. Therefore, it’s hard to imagine how ravenous I’ll be later on. I try to pack a little more than I think I’ll need in order to cover all my bases. If I don’t eat something, I can always leave it in the fridge for tomorrow.
4. Try coffee, almond milk or seltzer water. These low-cal drinks might be all I need to boost my energy or mood levels. If I’m craving sweets, I’ll stir a little honey or cinnamon into unsweetened almond milk. I don’t drink soda, but I think La Croix or flavored seltzer is a great substitute. Sometimes you just need a little something different!
5. Treat yourself – on your own terms. When there’s a giant chocolate cake in the kitchen (it happens surprisingly often), it’s hard to say no. Every once in a while I’ll help myself to something I can’t resist, but what really helps me is to have my own chocolate stash.
Some favorites are Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints or Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. One and done is all it takes! … usually. ; )
- What’s your snacking strategy for work or school?
- How do you remain healthy during a big lifestyle change?