The workplace is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to the temptation to eat unhealthily. This is mainly down to the supply and demand nature of food provision, and snack vending machines being the most common type of quick food solution on any office floor.
However, trying to improve your health levels whilst working a desk job can seem like a losing battle. There are simple things you can do to make eating well at work a cinch.
5 Healthiest Tips for Eating Well at Work
Here are 5 tips for the office professional to eat well at work and for a healthier week at the office:
1. Plan ahead
One of the main causes of unhealthy eating at work is lack of preparation. You come into work already hungry but with nothing to eat and grab the first thing you see. This often ends up being something with a high sugar content such as a pastry or cake from the building’s café.
To combat this, decide on easy meals and snacks to take to work each week so that you don’t have to make quick, rash decisions on a daily basis.
2. Bring leftovers to work
This will help you to eat better whilst also reducing your monthly food wastage at the same time. Leftover meat and fish can be used creatively to spice up anything from your lunch sandwich to a basic salad. In fact, we recently posted a brilliant and simple recipe for a salmon, avocado, and artichoke salad using leftover cuts of fish.
A great tip is to prepare a little extra food when you’re cooking your evening meal, then take a lunch-sized portion out before you eat, and store it for the next day. This will ensure that your lunches are always prepared the day before, whilst preventing you from overeating at dinner.
3. The 80/20 rule
Deprivation shouldn’t always be the first port of call when it comes to healthy eating. In fact, depriving yourself can have a negative effect on you and your mind and can lead to an earlier relapse.
Most foods are fine in moderation. The 80/20 philosophy draws on this by encouraging you to still give yourself treats throughout the week. This makes it easier for you to stick to healthier foods the majority of the time as you won’t feel like you’re limiting yourself and therefore feel tempted by “forbidden fruits”.
4. Enjoy what you eat
Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to taste “healthy”, as some might put it. You should never force yourself to eat something you don’t like.
Making yourself eat humous when you hate it will make you more likely to reach for unhealthier replacements when you’re feeling desperate. Try out a variety of nutrient-rich foods and then stick to what you like. Food isn’t meant to be forced or a chore.
5. Eat slowly
The slower you eat and the more you chew, the easier your body is able to process the food it receives. Your teeth and saliva break down food significantly before it reaches your stomach, so less effort is needed to dissolve it there.
This means better digestion, no uncomfortable tummy after wolfing down a meal, and a greater level of satisfaction and feeling full. The brain takes around 20 minutes to register the fullness of your stomach. So the faster you eat, the more you’ll end up consuming before the sensation kicks in, which leads to overeating.
Those were my 5 top tips for eating well at work to make health better throughout the working week. Try all of them, or even just one or two, and see if they make a difference to your diet at the office. Good luck!
If you’d like to find out more about the 80/20 rule when applying to food. This article does a great job of explaining the main points.
Kumud Gandhi is a Nutritional Food Scientist bestselling Author, Broadcaster, and Keynote Speaker on the subject of nutritional health for productivity & performance in the workplace. In 2010 Kumud founded ‘The Cooking Academy’ a cookery school that focusses on cooking for nutritional health and wellbeing. Kumud regularly presents to international audiences on a variety of topics such as ‘Eating for Immunity and a Lifetime of Wellness’. She is an expert in the field of Wellness in the Workplace and works with organizations to create transformational change in employee health & well-being through nutrition and health coaching.