How to Eat Healthy at Work
While you can make a conscious effort to eat and stock healthy food in your home, eating at work is another ballgame altogether. Surrounded by fast food establishments, 7-11’s and co-workers always encouraging you to go out and eat with them, it’s harder to put up a resistance. It doesn’t help that you’re at the office for the better part of the day! Learn how to adhere to your diet and eat healthy at work.
You’ve heard it before: Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast provides us with the much-needed energy to go through the day. It also helps us from having those hunger pangs or cravings. If you can help it, eat breakfast at home. Eating breakfast at home will certainly help us say no to fattening bagels and doughnuts our colleagues regularly bring in.
You can also plan in advance or bring a healthy breakfast along with you by preparing the night before or getting up early to pack your lunch. Plan ahead to make your breakfast varied. Some suggestions:
Oatmeal with fruit or nuts, no sugar or milk
Few slices of whole-wheat toast
Leftovers from last night’s healthy dinner
A container of yogurt
Container of granola cereal, with low-fat milk from the vending machine
Limit Your Coffee Intake
Coffee is a mainstay in many offices for its energizing effect on most people. However, people sometimes do not monitor just how much coffee they are used to having until they find themselves requiring five to six cups of coffee a day. Having too much caffeine in your system is bad enough, but if you count the amount of sugar and cream that you include in each cup, you’d be surprised at how many calories you’re getting. Not to mention the occasional Starbucks Frappuccino, which can clock up to nearly 500 calories per cup.
If you can’t cut out coffee entirely from your day, limit yourself to a small cup (Learn how to stop drinking coffee). Try to get used to drinking black coffee or coffee without sugar or cream. There are other ways to keep yourself awake, such as exercising at your desk or taking a quick breather from your work (Tips on how to stay awake). You can also have unsweetened tea as an alternative to coffee.
Drink More Water
Drinking water is another great way to stave off hunger pangs. Whenever you feel hungry, drink a glass of water. It doesn’t hurt that water is also very good for you.
If you’re craving soda, drink carbonated water for your fix. After a while, you can try stopping carbonated water and just sticking with good old water.
Distribute Your Meals
Working can produce major hunger pangs, which can lead to eventual snacking on whatever’s available. To avoid this, you can try distributing your meals throughout the day. Instead of eating three big meals, why not try dividing the meal by half and eating the other half after two to three hours. You’ll be surprised how effective this is, and you’re not increasing your food intake at all!
Fortunately, many restaurant establishments now offer salad options. You can also bring your own lunch to work. Make sure that you favor vegetables, low-sodium meats and whole grain food items.
Stock Up On Healthy Snacks
Having healthy snacks at hand for you to nibble on is very helpful when you’re just itching to go out and gorge on fast food. Fast food may be fast, but the effects last for a while. The best way for you to avoid that is to bring healthy snacks to work along with you. Keep these at hand:
Fresh or dried fruits
Mixed nuts, unsalted
Raisins or prunes
Whole wheat crackers
Low-fat string cheese
Bags of chopped vegetables like mini carrots and chopped broccoli, with a low-fat dip
Don’t Be Embarrassed
You might get some off-handed jokes when your colleagues find out about your eating healthy. Don’t be embarrassed about it, or by bringing your packed breakfast, lunch or snack along. Set a good example and stay on it. The great results will certainly be something not to laugh about.