Do you have an office job that requires you to sit all day? Do you struggle with eating healthy at work? A sedentary job predisposes to weight gain and the development of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and/or heart problems. Fortunately, with a little planning, a healthy diet at the workplace is certainly achievable. Here are 6 tips that we can incorporate to make our workdays healthier:
1. Start the Day with a Balanced Meal
Eating meals that follow the healthy plate model (1/2 vegetables, 1/4 protein, 1/4 starches) provides us with the energy and brainpower to get through the day.
2. Stay Hydrated
We often mistake the signal of thirst for hunger. Drinking water throughout your shift helps you stay alert and less fatigued. Keep low-fat, low-calorie beverages like flavoured water, tea or skim milk at the office. Pay attention to the amount of caffeine you consume: while it has a temporary energy-boosting effect, more than 4 cups per day can have negative health effects.
3. Prepare Your Snacks in Advance!
It is often too difficult to find healthy and affordable snacks in vending machines or at the nearby convenience store. Having snacks that contain carbohydrates (the brain's main source of energy) allows you to make your day more balanced. You can prepare some in advance and freeze them.
Here are some examples:
- Fresh or dried fruits and unsalted/unsweetened nuts
- Low-fat cheese and whole grain crackers
- Greek yogurt with oatmeal
4. Make Healthy Choices When Eating Out
There may be times when you're short on time and have no choice but to eat at a restaurant or cafeteria. Don't worry! Here are some examples of healthy choices when eating out:
- Opt for a salad instead of fries as a side order
- Order individual dishes instead of a full meal
- Choose vegetable-topped pizzas
- Prefer cooked or grilled foods over fried ones
- Request a smaller plate to better control portions
5. Savour Every Bite
Eat slowly and enjoy every bite. We are less likely to overeat when we eat mindfully and without distractions.
Find small moments throughout your day to stay active. Whether it's taking a break to stretch your legs, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or joining the gym that's on the same block as your office, remember that many small steps add up to a long way!
By following these tips, you can adopt a healthy diet at work, improve your well-being, and reduce the risks associated with a sedentary job. Remember that a balanced diet and regular physical activity are essential for maintaining your overall health.
In conclusion, it is entirely possible to have a healthy diet at work, even if you have an office job. Start by planning your meals, prepare your snacks in advance, and make wise choices when eating out. Stay hydrated throughout the day and take the time to be mindful each meal. Finally, don't forget to stay active by finding moments to move during your workday. Adopting these habits will help you maintain your health and well-being at work.