Office snacking: The messy aftermath. Today at 3 p.m.

popcorn_bowlIn my daily travels around the Internet and various non-profit websites looking for cool articles for the sections I edit at the paper, I’ve come across quite a few whacky stories (see tips on how to tell if you’re husband is cheating on you at Christmas — always a delight!). Most of them aren’t quite that graphic, but many can get a little strange! Often, though, I actually learn a little something myself.

Today’s lesson? Snacking right at work. Those of us spending our days elbow to elbow with coworkers know exactly what it’s like to see that giant box of chocolate chip cookies sitting, often unattended, mere inches away from your fingers. My friend Sandy enjoys popping a nice bag of popcorn around 3 p.m. — and is always generous enough to share. But the constant offerings of candy, coffee and — gasp! — Girl Scout cookies are almost too much to take! It’s as much about boredom and stress as anything, I know, but I have to really watch myself. I mean, I’m pretending to try and lose weight here. I’ve cut out the soda, God help me. And I’m going to start walking on the treadmill. Every other day. For real this time.

So I need to get serious about the no-snacks at work business. I’m generally pretty good about it, but I do eat lunch out almost every day — and often bring a cookie or something back to my desk after my outing. I keep granola bars and the like in a drawer, too (come on, you know you have a snack drawer!), but I’m going to be limiting that as well. And drinking only water. As much as I can stand, anyway . . .

And, according to the awesome article I will be publishing in my health section soon, I will also be:

• Bringing snacks from home. This limits the amount of mooching that will be required on my part to get a little afternoon pick-me-up, plus cut down on the money I’ll spend on snacky treats in the afternoon.

• Relying on flavorful foods. Bland snacks like veggies rarely satisfy that sweet tooth hankering I’m always battling. I’ll try low-fat crackers, especially with peanut butter . . . mmm. Trying to force myself to eat foods I’m not crazy about, like carrots, won’t help me or my psychological craving for junk food. If I’m going to snack, I need to pick something with some taste and nutritional benefits.

• Talking my coworkers into cooperating. My office neighbors (hi, Brandon and Sandy!) are great and rarely contribute to my bad habits, but we have to be a united front. It’s a lot easier to fight off temptation when temptation isn’t a nice, giant and free candy bar sitting on the edge of your desk!