Have you ever wondered why food always seems to be on your mind while you are at work? Why the weekends fly by without even thinking about what you will have for lunch? Or why you seem to be hungry every hour while working at your desk compared to eating sporadically on holidays?
I'm sure this is all sounding very familiar.
A recent study conducted by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention found that on average, people consumed 1300 extra calories from food including pizza, cakes, soft drink and biscuits each week at work.
That's the equivalent of an entire extra days' worth of food.
So if you know that poor workday food habits are contributing to gradual weight gain, here are some of the reasons you feel extra hungry at work and how you can take control.
You are bored
It will not come as a surprise to hear that one of the most common reasons human beings eat mindlessly, or when they are not hungry is because they are bored.
Long days spent in an office or in front of a computer is a recipe for disaster.
When it comes to mindless eating, a clear strategy is required to keep on top of this type of behaviour.
The first way to manage boredom eating is to give your day clear structure with set eating times.
Next, keep food out of sight — if it is within easy reach you'll eat it.
Finally keep some low-calorie snacks on hand such as chopped vegetable sticks and berries for desperate times that will not result in a complete calorie overload.
There is food lying around
One of the most significant predictors of discretionary or "extra" food consumption is accessibility.
This means that when tempting foods such as biscuits and snack food are within easy reach you will eat them. Throughout the work day this means keeping food, especially tempting foods out of sight.
Keep biscuits and fundraising chocolates in cupboards; avoid frequent morning and afternoon teas which feature cakes and biscuits high in sugar or eat a healthier alternate beforehand so you are not tempted.
You eat when others eat
Hunger is not a particularly accurate predictor of human food consumption. Rather perceived hunger tends to be driven by what those around you are doing.
This means if colleagues at work are constantly munching on snacks, you are likely to be tempted. Or if a person in the office regularly bakes treats, you are likely to indulge — hungry or not.
What you may not also be aware of is the more you eat and snack, the more food the body will seek out, which is why constant grazing and snacking is closely linked to weight gain.
The secret to avoiding this is to create your own meal times and stick to them rather than being heavily influenced by what those around you are doing.
On a daily basis, up to 70 per cent of adults are dehydrated which can easily be confused for hunger - especially in the warmer weather.
Thirst, unlike hunger, is a relatively weak reflex which means that by the time we actually register we are thirsty, we are already dehydrated.
An adult requires at least two litres of fluid each day to keep well hydrated and that is not considering any fluid loss via sweat from exercise.
For this reason, keeping a water bottle on your desk throughout the day and aiming for at least 1-1.5 litres in total while you are at work will help to keep your hunger under control.
You eat in front of the computer
Eating in front of a screen - computer, television or mobile device is closely associated with mindless eating. One study published in the eating behaviour journal "Appetite" found that those who ate their lunch while watching lunchtime television consumed significantly more calories at afternoon tea.
Researchers concluded it was the mindless eating that resulted in poor calorie regulation later in the day.
For this reason, snaking and eating meals in front of your computer at work will do no favours for appetite management. Even if you can only manage to take a 10-minute break, eat all of your meals and snacks away from the screen.
You eat too much sweet food
The more sweet foods we consume, the more we are likely to think we are hungry.
This means starting the day with a sweet coffee, followed by more sweet biscuits, snack bars and fruit is not great for hunger management at work.
Instead, focusing your intake on vegetables, salads and protein-rich meals and snacks that include Greek yoghurt, cheese, nuts, fish, meat and eggs will help to manage your hunger much more efficiently so you are not seeking out snacks every hour or two.