Do you find that your work day schedule is so hectic that you are skipping meals, grabbing less than healthy afternoon snacks, or drinking a fourth cup of coffee in the late afternoon to keep up It’s difficult to eat healthfully when your work environment isn’t health-supportive.
The good news is that you don’t need to quit your job to be healthy. Implement these small lifestyle and work habit changes to boost your energy (without the 4pm coffee). Ultimately, eating healthfully will improve your energy and mental acuity, helping you to be more productive at work, freeing up time for some of the other things in life that truly matter.
Here is my Simple Recipe for Staying Healthy in an Office Job:
1. Eat Breakfast.
By now, you probably have already heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, why is breakfast so important? Breakfast literally means “breaking the fast”. Fasting overnight is important for the health of your body and brain, but equally as important is breaking that fast in the morning.
After eight or so hours of fasting at night, blood sugar is naturally low in the morning. And, food is what raises blood sugar. When blood sugar gets too low, we experience mood swings, fatigue and cravings. We grab for the types of food that will raise blood sugar quickly, which are sweet foods and carbohydrates.
Eating a healthy breakfast will stabilize your blood sugar, leaving you feeling satisfied throughout the morning and less likely to reach for the donuts in the lounge.
2. Always Have Healthy Snacks Available.
Whether you are in the office, on the train, or on the road, keep a healthy stash available. Choose something that you don’t have to pack everyday. Nuts and seeds are great to have handy. Or, bring a week’s worth of fresh fruit to work on Monday. Hummus and carrots are great to keep on hand in the office fridge.
3. Avoid Sodas And Sugary Drinks.
Did you know that the average American drinks 45 gallons of sugary drinks a year? That’s 39 pounds of sugar. Sodas and sugary drinks are more than just empty calories. Studies now show that sugar is a leading cause of inflammation in the body. And inflammation is the root cause of all disease, both major and minor.
4. Be Mindful About Lunch.
One of the best ways to ensure you’re eating a healthful lunch is to pack it yourself. Restaurant portions are usually large, high calorie, and loaded with hidden ingredients. If you do plan to eat out, try ordering off the menu. A grilled chicken salad with mixed greens, veggies, oil and vinegar is a healthy choice. Remember that salad dressing can be a hidden source of sugars and artificial ingredients.
Try my favorite lunch on the go: The Simple Salad in a Jar. Fill a mason jar with 1 cup of your favorite salad greens. Add chopped veggies (have fun, and choose the ones you love!). Then, add in your favorite protein. Add balsamic oil and vinegar (or your favorite dressing) on top, and voila! You just made a salad on the go with ease.
5. Drink Lots Of Water!
Water is a great alternative to afternoon coffees, sodas, and other sugary drinks. Drinking water throughout the day will also reduce cravings for carbohydrates and sweets. Spice it up with lemon or cucumber slices. Or, drink it warm in an afternoon green tea.