Let’s face it, most of us eat more meals and spend more time at work then we do at home. With working lunches, parties and stocked snack drawers and fridges, our workplaces can have more food traps and temptations to lead us astray from our diets than anywhere else. At home we have more control of what is brought into our kitchens, at work, not so much. So what can you do to stay on the right nutritional track while at work? Here are some strategies you can implement now.
A little planning goes along way – Take a little time over the weekend to plan your meals and snacks and do any necessary prepping like washing and cutting fruits and veggies. This will save you some time during the workweek. No one wants to get up early to pack lunch or do it the night before. Set aside an hour or two on Sunday afternoon to wash, prep and portion your healthy snacks and meals.
Pack your own snacks and meals – We all know making our own meals from fresh, whole foods is better for our waistlines and wallets than eating out every day. Does your office occasionally order in for a working lunch or meeting? You can take a pass from the takeout by eating what you brought. Also, there are a lot of BPA-free storage containers and bags on the market now, so buy some of those to pack your food in.
Drink lots of water – Avoid the bottled water in the work fridge. Instead, buy a large BPA-free water bottle that you can fill up in the morning with purified water from home and drink from it throughout the day.
Create a buddy system – Find a friend or two at work with whom you can lend and receive support. If you have someone watching your back, you’re less likely to grab that doughnut in the morning or have that piece of cake at the birthday party.
Pack a piece of dark chocolate – Have trouble passing up that piece of cake, as mentioned in the above point? When packing your lunch for the day, add a piece of dark chocolate to your bag and get your sweet fix that way instead of eating a big piece of cake.
Don’t dine at your desk – Never mind that our desks are often filthy, germ-filled areas, but eating at your desk is a distraction to mindful eating. Plus, lunch is meant to give you a break. Hence the term lunch break. So step away from your desk, eat in the cafeteria or break room with co-workers or if it’s nice outside, take your lunch outdoors and enjoy some fresh air and just get out of the office!
Communicate with coworkers – Let your coworkers know that you’re trying to stay on track. If they’re aware then maybe they won’t unknowingly tempt you with sweets by coming to your office or desk with diet derailing treats. Even better, start a healthy movement at work and get everyone involved.
Take a stroll – Grab your buddy and take stroll in the afternoon. It’s good to get out of the office and if you tend to get the 3:00 slump in the afternoon, a short walk will wake you up and energize you. Plus, a walk will help relieve stress and it’s better than grabbing a sweet, a soda or a cup of coffee as a pick me up.
Take the stairs – Why take the elevator when you can take the stairs? Climbing the stairs is good for your heart and helps you burn calories.