Living a hectic lifestyle is one of the factors that can cause you to cheat on your healthy eating plan. When you’re too busy, it’s much easier to grab a candy bar or wolf down a burger rather than practice healthy eating in the workplace. Or because you’re too focused on your tasks, you tend to forget that you’re not supposed to eat that free donut at the break room. Most of the time this one slip-up could trigger a long-term unhealthy eating habit that can be very difficult to kick out.
While there are now employers who provide their staff with amazing wellness perks, many employees are still in a traditional workplace setting where they’re bound to their desks most of the time. This sedentary routine can make eating healthy at work challenging. However, this is not something impossible. Although you’re swamped with work, there are some tips and tricks you could try out to help you stay on track.
1. Plan Your Meals In Advance
Even if you have the healthiest intentions, you will not succeed if you don’t support that with the best-laid plans. What this means is that you should try to avoid instances wherein you’re backed in a corner and you don’t have a choice but to order that greasy pizza for lunch.
Healthy eating at work requires advance planning. By prepping your meals at home, you will not only save calories, but you will also save money too. The common problem with this is that many employees do not have the time to prepare meals in the morning. A good tip is to fix make-ahead meals during the weekend. These meals do not need to be complicated. Go for simple yet tasty meals that reheat well so they still remain tasty even when frozen.
When storing the meals, don’t freeze the entire serving because it will be difficult for you to manage your portions. You don’t want to find out that you ran out of food by midweek. Instead, portion your meals in individually packed containers or resealable bags. This will give you a convenient grab and go lunches that you can easily take to work.
2. Choose Healthy Snacks
Are you guilty of having a candy stash in your desk drawer? Most employees justify this habit by saying that they need to power up in case of emergencies. But while there’s nothing wrong with having a snack, try to avoid going for unhealthy options.
Instead of having junk food or sugar-laden snacks, go for healthier items. Choosing healthful snacks is just one secret on how to eat healthy at work. Pack some fruit, nuts, or vegetable sticks if you want something to munch on. If you don’t have time to bring a healthy snack, there are also some healthy vending machines that provide nutrient-dense food items.
Snacking on healthy food can help you get over that hungry feeling, which will prevent you from overindulging when mealtime comes.
3. Stay Hydrated
Most times, when you feel that you are hungry, the reality is you’re actually only thirsty. This means that your body might just be needing water instead of food. While it’s not ideal to snack on your desk while working, having a water bottle near you is totally recommended. This will ensure that you’re getting the minimum amount of water every single day. You should aim for at least 2 liters of fluids a day.
Try to avoid beverages like soda or processed juices as these are typically full of sugar. While other drinks contribute to your fluid balance, water is still the best choice to hydrate. But if you don’t like the taste of water, you can infuse it with a slice of lemon or other citrus fruits.
4. Take A Break
Most employees have a tendency to feel sluggish during mid-morning and mid-afternoon. These are also the times when it can be so tempting to eat a cookie or snack on a cupcake while trying to focus on that report you’re supposed to finish.
Instead of snacking on your desk, a better idea is to take a break. Have a short walk or go and have a cup of coffee. While you might think this will disrupt your work, having a micro break could actually help you stay more alert. In fact, according to studies, taking frequent micro-breaks from work has been shown to be a productivity booster.
When you take a short break, you get the chance to recharge and it can also prevent you from feeling lethargic. Getting up from your seat will also allow you to stretch your legs and promote better circulation. This will give you a burst of energy so you can focus better on your work.
5. Eat Mindfully
There will be times when you can’t avoid eating out for lunch or maybe having a piece of your colleague’s birthday cake. It is also difficult to say no when your boss offers to buy pizza for everyone. During these circumstances, don’t stress yourself too much. What you can do is to watch your portions by practicing mindful eating.
Mindful eating is not just about slowing down the way you eat. It involves appreciating every single bite, which may naturally slow you down, but at the same time, it will also make it easier for you to feel when you’re satiated. This means you should solely focus on your food, instead of trying to multitask and eat while working or on the go.
Often times, when you just mindlessly eat in front of the computer or when you eat too fast, you don’t keep track of the quantity you’re consuming which leads to overeating. However, when you’re mindful of your food, it is easier for you to recognize how much you are eating, while still enjoying your meal.
Practicing Healthy Eating At Work
Eating healthy at work does not need to be difficult or complicated. All you need to do is to follow these tips and replace old unhealthy ways with new habits that will be beneficial to your health. When you eat healthier, this will help you feel better and perform better in the workplace.