When you get to work, you probably have the best of intentions to eat healthy and stay away from added sugars and overly processed foods. However, when you are suddenly faced with a big box of donuts in the morning or are hit by the desperate need for caffeine during your afternoon slump, all of your good intentions can fly out the window. Here are five habits that keep me on track every day at work.
1. Start the Day with Breakfast
First, be sure to start your day with a balanced breakfast. I am not just referring to a morning latte. Instead, you need something that fills you up for several hours. Opt for a balanced breakfast that includes protein, fat and carbohydrates, such as oatmeal with Greek yogurt and a dollop of peanut butter or scrambled eggs and whole-grain toast. Eating this type of breakfast will not only help you say no to unhealthy mid-morning snacks, but also will jumpstart your metabolism for the day, helping you burn more calories.
2. Pack Your Own Lunch
Making smart food choices should start in your home the night before you head to work. While you may have the best of intentions to brown bag your lunch, your harried morning schedule or long commute may leave you with no time to pack something healthy in the morning. Instead, take 10 minutes the night before to pack a smart lunch, or grab some of your supper leftovers as you head out the door.
3. Bring Your Own Snacks
While I am on the subject of bringing your own food from home, you might as well throw a mid-afternoon snack into your brown bag the night before as well. Your body has a natural rhythm that leaves you dragging by two or three in the afternoon. Instead of heading to the vending machine for a caffeinated soda and a candy bar, snack wisely on some whole foods, such as a handful of nuts, an apple or even a cheese stick, that can give you the energy you need without letting you crash a mere 30 minutes later.
4. Do Not Eat at Your Desk
If you are pressed for time on a project, it can be tempting to eat at your desk while you are staring at your computer or reading the latest memo. However, eating while doing something else sets you up for mindlessly consuming far more calories than you need. Instead, step away from your desk even if it is only for 10 to 15 minutes. Find a bench outside, or even head to the break room. You may be surprised at how much more energy you have for your work when you get back.
5. Focus on Water
Hydration is key to helping you feel full between meals. Plus, it will help you feel better overall, give you gorgeous skin and keep you looking and feeling youthful. However, hydrating while at work is particularly important because it can help you shake off the sluggishness and the headaches you may feel between meals. Bring a chilled water bottle with you, and sip on it the entire time you work to stave off the munchies.
When you follow these tips, not only will you be saving money on eating out and visiting your office’s vending machine, but also you will be giving your body the nutrition it needs to stay healthy. Bringing your own food will produce more mindful eating and may even be able to help you get to a healthy weight if you need to watch your calorie intake.