Healthstyle Blog

Eating Healthy While At Work

On average adults spend about 8.8 hours a weekday at work. That’s 44 hours each week and 2,288 hours each year. While it’s essential for most of us to work if we want to maintain a healthy (financial) bottom line, all that time in the office can take its toll on our (actual) waistline. Why? The answer often is because our workplace is full of decidedly unhealthy temptations. Think about it. Colleagues who always order takeout for lunch, vending machines that are full of junk food, and break rooms stocked with donuts and other sugary baked goods—all of these things can make sticking to a healthy diet challenging to say the least. Fortunately, nothing can make it impossible. Consider the following tips to help you eat healthy at work.

 

1. Bring your lunch

The easiest way to make bringing your lunch to work a habit is to pack your meal the night before. While grilled chicken and vegetables, turkey sandwiches on whole grain breads, and whole wheat pastas with light sauces are all easy options, any combination of veggies, lean meats, whole grains and fruits should keep you full and on track throughout the day.

 

If you don’t mind a little repetition, consider preparing extra portions at dinner and packaging them for lunch. Or, even better, make a large batch of your favorite healthy dish on the weekend and divide it up to create an entire week of easy, premade midday meals. Avoid the break room refrigerator—and all those donuts and bagels—by packing your lunch in a small cooler or a thermos food jar  for a hot lunch and store by your desk. I am a big fan of thermos food jars and use it to store my hot lunch without reliance on a microwave. My lunch is kept warm for hours.

 

2. Stash healthy snacks

When you’re trying to watch your weight and control calories, small midmorning and midafternoon snacks (around100 calories each) can be helpful to keep you from overeating at lunch or dinner. You can stash room temperature snacks in desk drawers and keep fresh ones in the cooler with your lunch. Easy options include protein bars, instant oatmeal packets, nuts, whole wheat crackers, peanut butter, fresh fruit, low-fat cheese, and vegetables with hummus or low-fat dressing.

 

3. Schedule time for breaks

According to the American Dietetic Association, more than 70 percent of working Americans eat lunch at their desks several times each week. Unfortunately, this practice can lead to mindless eating and the consumption of excess calories. Ensure you can enjoy your meals consciously by adding lunch and snack time to your daily to-do list. Get away from your desk—walk to a park outside if the weather is nice, for example—or at least turn off your computer monitor and focus on your food. You’ll reduce your stress level and eat less. I am guilty of this and eat at my desk while working. I am learning to take time out for lunch by switching off my computer screen so that I can focus and enjoy my meal in an unplugged mode.

 

4. Allow the occasional indulgence

Deny yourself all of the little pleasures and your diet will eventually fail. It’s important to allow yourself the occasional indulgence if you want to develop a healthy eating habit you can maintain for life. If your workplace is celebrating a promotion, wedding, new baby or another success with a sweet treat, don’t hesitate to join in. Just watch your portions. And if you accidentally indulge a little too much, don’t beat yourself up. Remember, you can always start fresh tomorrow.

Do you pack a healthy lunch to work ? If yes do you have any tips to share ? If you don’t pack a healthy lunch to work which of these tips are you going to implement? Send me your comments. I love reading your comments. Keep them coming.

 

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Comments

  1. Lauren Deegan

    Totally agree, but I would like to suggest that companies should try to provide healthy snack options or food delivery services. In the end, employee’s health should mean a lot to the company.

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