An Employee’s 5-Point Guide to Eating Healthy at the Office
Eight hours of work in the office is not a joke. Tension builds up in your back and neck while sitting at your desk and the urge to drink caffeine to wake your mind up can be stressful on the mind, body, and spirit. These make eating healthy at the office all the more important.
Making healthy food choices in the workplace can influence an employee’s health and wellness in the long run. Active living, healthy eating and a positive outlook in life results in reduced anxiety, higher self-esteem and energy, reduced risk of hypertension, and opportunities to enjoy time spent with friends and family. With a little prep time and sensibility, here is a guide to eating healthy at the office.
Start with a healthy breakfast. There’s a good reason why the first and most important meal of the day is called breakfast, and it is to “break” last night’s “fast” to jumpstart your metabolism. Research indicates that a healthy, protein-based breakfast provides increased concentration and more vitality. Eating a healthy breakfast will also let you make smarter food choices throughout the day and crave less sugar and carbohydrates.
The ideal breakfast should contain organic fruits and vegetables, complex carbs and protein. Need something for on the go? A low-glycemic breakfast bar will still give you enough energy for the morning.
Regulate your blood sugar levels and keep off the distraction by eating small amounts of food between meals. But instead of hoarding the company’s supply of doughnuts or frequenting the vending machine, try a healthy snack delivery with SnackNation. You can also bring along healthy snacks to the office. Consider the following snack choices:
Organic apples or other fruits
Almonds or cashews
When eating fruits, keep the peels on for added fiber, which helps keep you feeling full for longer.
Pack a healthy lunch
With a little planning and prep time, pack a lunch you’ll look forward to eating. It will not only help you resist the temptation of the office supply of chips, but it also allows you to know exactly what you’re putting inside your body. Make the most of lunch breaks by eating slowly, enjoying your food, and paying attention to your body. As soon as you feel satisfied, stop eating.
Consider the following lunch ideas.
Chicken or tuna sandwiches
Fresh spring rolls
Avocado chicken salad
No time to plan? Make a bottle of salad dressing and order a Greek salad and grilled chicken at the deli. The trip will allow you to stretch those muscles and undo the tension that’s building up at your back.
Keep yourself hydrated
That dip in energy and enthusiasm in the mid-afternoon is not because of a lack of caffeine but could be due to dehydration. Get yourself a good quality BPA-free water bottle and make it a point to refill it three times a day or more.
If you are craving something else, avoid sugary drinks because these can bring your sugar levels up then down, making you crave even more sugar. Instead, choose green tea, which is considered a brain food that contains an amino acid called L-Theanine that naturally relaxes you.
Learn to say no
According to a survey, extra calories at work are primarily due to the brownies and cookies that manage to get into the office. It could be someone’s promotion, birthday, or simply somebody that just likes to bake treats. Whatever the situation, eating everything that comes your way is not a job requirement.
High sugar levels aren’t just bad for your heart and waistline; it can also have a negative impact on brain health including its psychological and cognitive functions. It creates a nasty cycle and heightens the desire for sugar by taking over the brain’s neural pathways. When you feel that recognizable peer pressure, think about the mess it does with your brain; it’s bound to help you resist.
Dealing with busy schedules andstress at work may make you feel overwhelmed, and this could result in unhealthy food choices—especially when you are surrounded by an unhealthy office food supply. By planning and preparing your food, you keep track of your food choices and ward off the unhealthy urge to reach out for sweet treats or caffeine at work.