Food is a big part of our lives and when we are at work between meetings, responding to emails, taking phone calls, it seems like eating healthy is the last thing on our minds. If you’re constantly skipping meals, making frequent visits to the vending machines, and drinking countless cups of coffee, it’s time to make a shift towards changing the way you eat.
Adapting healthier eating habits at work can change your work performance by increasing your energy level, allow for more creativity, less sick days, and create more focus. However, you don’t have to change the way you work but rather use these tips to incorporate healthier ways of eating.
Start Your Day Off Right
Once you arrive to the office and sit down to start your day, you get into the routine of checking your emails, scheduling meetings, and talking with your co-workers. Time passes and before you know it, you have worked through your coffee break and lunch is quickly approaching. This is when you put unhealthy foods into your body as your digestive tract is craving for calories. A great way to avoid this especially for people who don’t like to eat first thing in the morning is to bring a smoothie or some fruit with you on the way to the office. The fiber in the fruit is a sure way to keep you nourished and satisfied until lunch time.
We have heard it time and time again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it is for a reason. By skipping breakfast, you are depriving yourself of calories that can set you up for failure for the rest of the day. A lack of calories means decreased energy, a lack of focus, cravings for refined sugar and fatty foods, which can lead to sugar rushes and sugar crashes.
Keep Your Drawer Well Stocked
Having healthy foods on hand is one way to prevent you from visiting the vending machine. If you keep foods at your desk such as trail mix, date bars, or even whole wheat crackers, it can go a long way until you are ready for your next meal.
Vending machines are stocked with high fat and sugary foods. After a while, your addiction to these foods is hard to break causing you your energy levels to go down, your mood changes, and your creativity plunges. You become tired and sluggish which can lead to placing more ‘empty’ calories into your body to stimulate your energy level to give you a feeling of a false ‘high’.
Many people who experience sugar cravings are actually experiencing some level of dehydration. The process of glycogen production involves water and glucose, the body’s circulating sugar, so dehydration makes it more difficult for the body to produce glycogen. This is a time when our cravings for sweet foods becomes common. Being dehydrated can also interfere with brain levels of serotonin. When our serotonin levels are low, it can trigger us to eat more but also bring on sugar cravings.
Keep a re-usable water bottle at your desk. Not only is this a good idea to keep your body hydrated but also as a reminder when it’s empty to get up from your desk and re-fill it. This will allow you to also get more movement in your day to keep your body active.
Eat Lunch Away from Your Desk
There is a reason why it’s called a lunch break. Too often people work through their lunch not allowing their bodies and minds to take a break. Emails, endless tasks, and the internet have taken over our lives and we are becoming less active than ever. If you bring your own lunch, go to the cafeteria or schedule time with a co-worker to eat your lunch. Go for a walk outside, and enjoy your lunch surrounded by nature instead of technology. Skipping lunch is a sure way to miss out on nourishing your body so you can have a productive afternoon full of energy and creativity.
If you can’t leave your desk, then turn off your computer and/or phone so there are no distractions when eating your lunch. By slowing down and being more mindful of the food you put into your body, you are allowing your food to be digested more effectively.
Bring Leftovers to Work
Going out for lunch is so yesterday. The trend now is to bring leftovers to the office. People are paying more attention to not only where their food is coming from but the ingredients in their food. Double up the recipe you are having the night before so there is enough for leftovers the next day. Having food on hand will distract any temptations of visiting the vending machine or picking up take out food. Eating wholesome foods throughout the day will keep your energy levels in check, your digestive tract happy, and help in the prevention of disease.
Eat Well – Move Well – Live Well