Eating healthy at work can be a real challenge. The temptation of empty calories is everywhere. There is a box of donuts here, birthday cake there and take out lunches everywhere! With a little advanced planning and thinking on your feet you can eat healthy in the office.
Here are a few tips that will help:
1. Don’t skip breakfast! Breakfast kick starts your metabolism, and it’s also healthier to eat larger meals earlier in the day because you’ll burn them off when you’re running around the office. If you don’t have time to eat breakfast before work, bring low-fat yogurt and a banana to eat first thing.
2. Buy healthy snacks at the supermarket that can be stored at work. When you do your food shopping, think ahead. Select a few healthy snacks that can be taken to work, to help you avoid those midday snacking urges. Find the healthiest versions of the snacks you love, and bring them to work. Try air-popped popcorn, low-sugar or juice-sweetened cookies and granola bars, baked wheat crackers, packages of nuts or raisins, beef jerky, and low-fat string cheese. Another good idea is buying bags of chopped, cleaned vegetables, such as mini-carrots and broccoli, and low-fat dip; both items can be easily stored in a work refrigerator.
3. Select snacks carefully. Not all of us have time to bag food for the day on our way out the door, or to go shopping ahead of time. If you find yourself staring down that vending machine, think carefully about what you select. A granola bar or a package of peanuts is a far better choice then a bag of deep fried potato chips or sugary cookies.
4. Opt for the supermarket over the fast-food restaurant. Avoiding fast-food during the lunch hour can seem incredibly obvious, but many are left wondering what the other options are exactly. If possible, try dining at a supermarket near your office instead. Pick up an apple or orange from the produce aisle, and then head over to the deli for a sandwich made of low-fat, low-sodium meats. Many supermarkets often have salad bars now as well and freshly made soups, all of which present you with alternatives that are far healthier then a burger and fries or a slice of pizza. Keep portion size in mind. If you visit the deli at lunchtime, buy half of a sandwich, or split something with a friend.
5. When hosting a meeting, bring some healthy snacks, instead of the usual donuts and pastries. Provide fruits and/or veggies and hummus, cheese and wheat crackers.
6. Always keep a supply of water handy. Most offices have water coolers, so bring a large glass or thermos, or keep a water bottle nearby that you can refill. I you do not have a water cooler, stash a few reusable water containers in your bag before work.
7. Always take a lunch break. No matter how busy you are, it’s both physically and mentally healthier to take a few moments and read, sit outside, or chat with a friend, while enjoying a healthy meal. You’ll be re-energized once you return to your desk.
Hopefully, these ideas will help prepare you to resist the home baked goodies and bagels sitting around the office. You will find yourself feeling and looking better as you leave your cubicle at the end of the day.