10 tips for healthy eating in the workplace
Eating is one of life's greatest pleasures. However, committing to a healthy diet is not the easiest thing to do, especially during working hours.
Now that lockdown regulations have been eased and more people have returned to their offices to resume normal working life, it's time to once again remind you of the importance of healthy eating habits in the office.
Let's be honest, adjusting to office life and hectic deadlines may make it difficult for people to eat healthily. And apart from that, there are also certain things most people get wrong about healthy eating, like consuming too much fat.
Health expert Vanessa Ascencao suggests eating a lot of raw nuts and seeds, avocados, pure olive oil, and oily fish which are all good for your health and may help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Ascencao also suggests you choose potent food supplements such as purest omega-3 made from a sustainable source of the highest quality, wild-caught certified fish oils and free from genetically modified organisms, mercury, pollutants, hormones, and antibiotics which are sometimes found in modern fish farming.
Chief executive officer and founder of OrderIn, Dinesh Patel said a balanced diet is hard to maintain when your work life gets busy. Patel said all too often, employees do not have healthy options available in the canteen or area where their offices are situated.
Head dietician for Futurelife, Angela Leach said employees with an unhealthy diet are 66% more likely to exhibit low productivity levels than those who eat a healthy diet.
“We eat at least half of our meals and snacks during working hours, but storage facilities, limited food options, and a lack of areas to prepare and eat food in the workplace are contributors to unhealthy eating. When someone is faced with the choice to leave the office to get something healthy or eat at the canteen due to a busy working schedule, they are more likely to go with what is available at the office,” said Leach.
How can one change one’s office diet to be healthier?
Do not skip breakfast – this will only make you want to snack on unhealthy foods such as chips or sweets.
Eat at regular intervals.
Make sure to only keep healthy food at your desk to avoid temptation.
Rather than having that extra cup of coffee, take a 10-minute walk around the office – it'll help clear your head space.
To avoid temptation, plan your meals.
Drink a lot of water.
Plan your meals
Before a new week, plan which meals you would like to have, then create a list of the ingredients and snacks you will need to buy. Depending on your preference, either prepare all your meals for the week over the weekend or when cooking each night, make an extra portion to take to work the next day. This will take the hassle of lunch out of your day because you know exactly what you will be eating.
Remember to eat breakfast
Eating a nutrient-dense breakfast will help stabilise your blood glucose level, which is often lower in the morning, after many hours of not eating. A meal in the morning gives you the energy to conquer the morning and prevents overeating later.
Pack a lunch bag
You have to sustain your body throughout the day, so you need to ensure that you aren’t missing meals. Planning plays a huge role in making sure this happens. Invest in the right containers and cooler bag lunch boxes to prolong the life of your food. Try and include a meal for lunch, one snack for the morning, and another for the afternoon. You are less likely to buy unhealthy food with a fully packed lunch box.
Carry a water bottle
Throughout the day, our kidneys and liver are working to flush out toxins, but our bodies need sufficient water to do this optimally (through sweat and urine). Without water, we risk dehydration, it is also required for body temperature regulation and to assist with brain function. You may be tempted to reach for an energy drink as you get tired throughout the day, but if you remember to carry a water bottle, you can satisfy your thirst more healthily.
Eat from all food groups
Your diet should include food from all the food groups and so should your lunch box, so include fruits, vegetables, grains or starch, protein, dairy, and fat.