Healthy eating habits at work
By – Lama Dalloul,
Junior Dietician, Health Factory
When you think about it, it makes absolutely no sense that we tend to pay less attention to healthy eating when we’re super busy and rocking it out at the office for more hours in a day than we quite possibly should be.
In fact, beyond even eating healthy foods, statistics now say that 1 out of 10 workers don’t even take a lunch break, and of the rest, who do take one, only take 30 minutes.
In fact, studies indicate sitting for 11 or more hours a day (combined work, commute and home time!) makes an individual 40 times more likely to die within a 3-year span compared to someone who sits fewer hours.
So, what do you do when you need to pay the bills but want to live a long, healthy life? Well, aside from regular diet and exercise outside of work, there are some simple healthy office habits, all employees can follow to keep themselves well while at the office – and in general.
What to eat?
It is important to snack in between meals. Choosing one serving of fresh fruit as an office snack can avoid a binge attack at dinner time. However, choosing the right kind of food is equally important, if you don’t want to add layers.
What to avoid?
• Battered and deep fried foods
• Sugary sodas & Fizzy drinks
• Processed foods
• Greasy snack chips
• White bread and refined pasta
• Most canned products
• Creamy Bakery products
• Margarine, butter & oily salad dressings
Replace unhealthy foods with:
• Green and brightly colored vegetables
• Dark leafy greens and lettuce
• Fresh fruits and berries
• Nuts, seeds and dried fruits
• Whole grain breads and pasta
• Healthy cooking oils like canola and olive oils
• Low fat milk or soy beverages
• Lean meat (Chicken breast & Fish) and legumes.
• Large portions of fresh green foods in your daily meals can go a long way into keeping you fit.
Healthy eating tips at work and their benefits:
➢ Eat breakfast:
Breakfast sets your metabolism for the day. People who eat breakfast end up eating less during the day, than those who don’t. Secondly, people who don’t skip their breakfast feels energetic throughout the day.
➢ Keep water bottle within your vicinity:
It not only hydrates & detoxifies your body but also regulates all bodily functions as every enzymatic and chemical reaction occurs in the presence of water.
➢ Take your breaks:
Breaks = peace of mind. And peace of mind = energy and focus. Energy and focus = productivity. It also helps relieve stress, which otherwise causes food cravings and high blood pressure.
Grab convenient yet healthy snacks between your meals like green tea, mixed nuts, granola bars, fruit or low fat yogurt.
➢ Pack your lunch and make it tasty:
If you eat things that don’t taste good, you won’t be satisfied and you’ll end up searching for more unhealthy options like cookies or doughnuts.
➢ Eat lunch away from your desk:
When you eat your lunch while responding to your emails, you may as well be eating your emails. While eating, it is best to focus on eating. In the end, you will better digest your food. You will also remember eating your meal and will be feel more satisfied from it. Once again, preventing the need for that cookie downstairs.
Be careful with drinking more than 2 cups of coffee per day. The high caffeine causes dehydration, normally mistaken as hunger. Replace few of your coffee with green tea.
Green tea gives you that boost you need to keep you going until the end of the day.
➢ At the end:
Work! It’s where most of us spend the majority of our weeks. While that realization can be somewhat depressing, it also shows how your habits at work have a huge effect on your weight-loss goals. Sure, the office can be full of temptation—whether the vending machine calls your name at 3 p.m., or your boss brings in glazed donuts every Monday morning—but your workplace can actually be a place that supports your healthy lifestyle. You just have to know how to work the system.