When tasks start piling up and your to-do list seems never ending, it can be easy to simply grab some sugary snacks to munch on and buy something fast for lunch. Or, even worse, not eat anything at all! Having healthy eating habits at work is an essential part of not only maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but ensuring you’re staying productive and motivated in the workplace.
Looking after your body is just as important as looking after your mind, so make sure you are creating healthy eating habits even whilst you’re at work. These tips will set you on the right track for feeling good and doing your best work yet.
Have a filling breakfast
Don’t skip your breakfast! It is the most important meal of the day, after all! Starting your day on the right foot with a healthy and filling breakfast will give you an energy boost in the morning and will stop you from reaching for those not-so-good-for-you snacks before lunch.
How to implement: If you don’t have time to prepare a delicious breakfast at home, or you’re not a morning person, overnight oats or chia puddings work great. You can store them in the fridge for a grab and go option. Otherwise make use of your office kitchen and enjoy some fresh avocado on toast, tasty warm oats or whatever you desire.
It’s a common tip, but it’s one of the most effective ones. Having meals prepped and ready to go for lunch time at work is your best bet when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. They are fast, easy to grab and you can make multiple at one time. You can even freeze them to store for months at a time, and never be left feeling hungry (or succumb to those cravings) again!
How to implement: Cook a big serve of your favourite healthy meals over the weekend or at the start of the week. Separate them into multiple portions to heat up throughout the week, or whenever needed. Freeze for even longer storage times (this will vary depending on your desired prepped meal). Take them to work and microwave! Easy as that.
Did you know it’s difficult for the human body to distinguish between feeling hungry and feeling dehydrated? In fact, 37% of people make this common mistake and often grab a snack instead of a glass of water. So, if you’re still feeling hungry straight after a big meal, chances are you might just need some water. Having a water bottle on your desk will remind you to keep hydrated and lets you keep your water intake up throughout the day. Plus, drinking lots of water has a whole lot of benefits like helping with metabolism, improving the appearance of your skin and also helping essential minerals and nutrients absorb in the body. Drink up!
How to implement: If you don’t have a bottle on your desk or you forget to stop and grab some water, set a quiet reminder on your phone. This will push you to get up and grab a glass of water every so often. After a couple of days, the habit should form, and your body will naturally start craving water throughout the day. If you want to spice it up, add some fresh fruit, herbs or spices to your water for an added hit of vitamins and refreshing flavour experience.
Instead of opting for those salty potato chips, grab some salted nuts. Craving something sweet? Try fresh yoghurt, berries and honey. Find alternatives to those junk food favourites that not only make you feel good but are also good for you. Those 3pm cravings get to the best of us, so finding healthy alternatives is your best option to ensure you’re still eating enough but enough of the right stuff.
How to implement: Keep a jar of your favourite healthy snacks on your desk or in your drawer. Include a few sweet and salty options, so no matter what cravings creep in, you have the perfect solution. Dried fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, roasted chickpeas and granola bars are excellent options that keep for a long time and are easy to store.
Make it social!
The beautiful thing about starting healthy eating habits at work is that you can make it a social thing. Not only can your colleagues hold you accountable, but you have a support network around you making sure you stay on track (and you can do the same for them).
How to implement: Share your journey with your closest colleagues and see if they would like to get involved. Regardless, they’ll be there for support. If you want to take it to the next level, you could even start a walking after work group or take some fitness classes together. Making it a social thing will not only make it more enjoyable, but everyone can get healthy together.
Keep things simple
The best way to form new habits is to make them easy to achieve. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you need to be preparing gourmet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but simple and delicious salads, veggie bowls or wraps work just as well. Find the foods you love and work with those. There’s no right or wrong way but finding the balance that works for you.
How to implement: Be kind to yourself, even if you slip up. But, hold yourself accountable. Rather than giving in to everyone buying lunch around you, stick to your guns and eat your lunch prep. Of course, don’t be so strict on yourself that you feel like you’re missing out on key company events (or the office birthday cake). Life is about balance, so embrace the balance that works for you.
The best advice you can follow when starting your healthy eating habit journey is to just start. Using these simple tips and implementing them in your everyday life or at work is easy once you just begin. Enjoy feeling better and working better with these simple steps to a healthier diet.