Staying healthy during the busy season is a challenge, especially when it comes to eating healthy at work. Clients, coworkers, and projects can leave you with little time to make something nutritious or even grab healthy good on the go. It’s easy to turn to snacks and prepackaged meals stuffed with sugar and other additives.
Luckily, eating healthy at work is doable with the right strategies.
Why eating healthy at work is so hard
The benefits of healthy eating are obvious: You’ll live longer, maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of disease. So why is it so hard to stick to a diet?
For one thing, highly processed foods are extremely addicting. If you’re used to snacking on vending machine fare every day, staying motivated to eat healthy can be a challenge.
Unhealthy food also scores points for its convenience. Planning meals and shopping for ingredients takes time, not to mention cooking a complete meal every morning. With a demanding job, making healthy eating choices might take energy you don’t have.
Healthy eating strategies for work
Healthy eating at work might seem easier said than done. But with the right plan, anyone can keep to a healthy diet at the office. Here are some strategies that will improve your lunch hour routine and boost your productivity.
Know what you like
Before you hit the grocery store, get familiar with what you like to eat. Forcing yourself to eat foods you don’t enjoy is a surefire way to make your diet fail.
Don’t like salads? Try a grain bowl instead, or experiment with veggie-packed dishes that are high in flavor. No matter what, make sure you select foods you enjoy. Your new diet will not only last but will make you look forward to lunchtime each day.
Don’t skip breakfast
A healthy work life starts before you get to the office. Eating a good breakfast means you’ll begin the day feeling satisfied and energized. Plus, it will stop you from reaching for sugary snacks at 10 in the morning.
Even those who work from home may be tempted to log in without a morning meal, but a nutritious breakfast packed with protein will help you start the day off right and keep you full until lunchtime.
Prep the night before
Not everyone has time to prepare a complete lunch first thing in the morning. Whether you have an early start or a family to juggle, prepping your meals the night before means all you have to do is pull them out of the fridge.
Making your lunch the night before is helpful, but getting a head start on breakfast works too. For those who start work extra early, opt for healthy breakfast catering that everyone in the office can enjoy.
Make better in-office choices
If your office has an on-site cafeteria, it can be hard to resist temptation. Luckily, you can still eat healthily without sacrificing convenience.
Next time, opt for the salad bar over pizza-by-the-slice. Or, sip water with your meal instead of soda. For special events like catered lunches, steer clear of heavy entrees and fill your plate with veggies and lean proteins that will keep you energized.
If you’re a team leader, choose a healthy option for your next catered event. You’ll help the whole office meet their health goals, and even stave off an afternoon slump.
Make a plan
If your schedule is especially packed during the busy season and the last thing you want to do after work is plan the next day’s meals, try mapping out your lunchtime menu well in advance. Don’t let exhaustion keep you from eating healthy at work.
Planning your lunches over the weekend is an easy way to keep yourself on track. If you don’t have to think about what to eat, you’re less likely to choose whatever’s most convenient. Plus, shopping early gives you one less chore to do during the week.
Eating healthy at work doesn’t mean cutting out snacks completely. What it does mean is that you should be mindful of what you graze on during the day. Some healthy snack ideas for work include:
- Trail mix
- Apples and peanut butter
- Vegetables and hummus
- Dried fruit
- Rice cakes
The options are endless. Keep a stash of healthy snacks at your desk and avoid the processed, sugary fare from the vending machine.
A healthy diet isn’t effective if you’re dehydrated. Just as unhealthy foods can lower your productivity levels, so can a lack of water in your system. Keep a reusable water bottle at your desk and reach for it during the day. To go even further, limit sugary drinks with lots of caffeine.
Even during the busy season, it’s important to give yourself a break. While it’s tempting to eat your lunch at your desk, avoid multitasking and choose mindful eating instead.
Eat slowly and focus on your meal. Give full attention to your lunch and you’ll stay fuller longer. Plus, taking the time to enjoy your healthy meal means you’ll be ready to give it your all once you’re back at your desk.
With ezCater, eating healthy at work has never been easier. Place an order today for nutritious meals without the fuss.