Office environments not only breed politics that you should stay as far away from as possible but it can also lead to a lot of poor choices. Please note I did not say bad or horrible or the wrong way to eat because I think there are foods that are healthier than others but I also know that having a chocolate chip cookie is not going to ruin your ‘diet’ the same way that eating one salad will make you skinny.
It has been sometime (7 years to be exact) since I have worked in an office but I remember the kitchens of the offices I did work in and they were always stacked with sugary treats. In addition to that these offices had vending machines and there were also the going out to eat options with co-workers and especially with clients. All of these items are present on a daily basis and can create an atmosphere in which one poor choice can quickly become a day, a week, a month or a year of poor choices and before you know it you are asking why those pants that fit on January 1st no longer fit. Worse you will become the person that says on January 1st I will start my diet and go to the gym 6 days a week when you do not even have a gym membership yet. Offices can be a breeding ground for poor choices when it comes to eating healthy but fortunately there are easy ways to stay on that healthy eating path you are currently on. Here are 5 Healthy Eating Office Tips:
5 Tips To Eating Healthy While Working In An Office
- Eat breakfast at home. We all know how important breakfast is. I find breakfast to be so important I have been known to eat breakfast foods for lunch and dinner but that is an entirely different blog post. Studies have shown that those who eat breakfast regularly tend to lose weight easier as well as have more energy throughout the day. Right now you are telling me that you are running around gathering your office items into your briefcase, making sure the kids clothes are laid out BUT you do have time. You want pancakes or waffles for breakfast? Make the batter the night before and leave it in the fridge. Come home from the grocery store and hard boil one dozen eggs immediately so you have grab and carry breakfast. Overnight oats? Click this link for a recipe to overnight oats that will make for an easy breakfast when you wake up.
- Bring snacks with you to the office. Your snacks can consist of chopped carrots and celery. Maybe a bag of homemade trail mix that has been portioned out so that you are not mindlessly putting your hand in the jar every two seconds. Thinking ahead and packing snacks for the week that do not require refrigeration can be very helpful. Sunday evening when the weekend is winding down create 5 snack bags for yourself and place them in a spot that you can grab them as you head out the door on your way to the office.
Do not be embarrassed to order the salad at a lunch with co-workers or clients. When I worked for a firm in NYC we would go to Smith And Wollensky’s on a consistent basis and when we weren’t there we were at The Palm. I was infamous for ordering the roast beef hash at S&W and man it was divine, but eating that 2-3x per week was not healthy. That creamed spinach while having a vegetable in the dish is filled with butter and heavy cream and again just a poor choice. I remember thinking back then that getting a salad would be all I needed but the peer pressure I placed on myself to order and order and order led to many an afternoon of poor choices and the need to take a nap. Order that Cobb Salad with no dressing and extra hard-boiled eggs. It’s ok because when they ask if that is all you want you can say yes this is all because I am focused on maintaining my healthy lifestyle.
- Bring your lunch with you. When you go to the deli to order a sandwich you really do not know what type of mayonnaise or mustard they are using. You have no clue where the deli ‘meat’ came from or if it that bacon was made yesterday and is sitting around today. Do not even get me started on the salad bar and whether or not it was maintained properly in terms of its cleanliness. Be proactive when making dinner and make enough that you have leftovers and can bring to work in a Tupperware for the next day or in two days.
- Reach for that cookie or cake at the employee birthday party and don’t feel guilty. We all need to indulge ourselves every now and again and it that means celebrating a co-workers birthday or an end of quarter accomplishment for your team then do so. By fighting that urge to have one bite of a piece of cake or a small cookie you could be setting yourself up for a tremendous amount of binging on your way out of the building when you come across the vending machines selling Twix bars and potato chips and those ‘healthy’ protein bars. By satisfying that sugar craving with a piece you avoid over-doing it in the long run.
These are just 5 tips to help you maintain your healthy eating lifestyle while working in an office but they are certainly not all-encompassing so I would like to hear from you on what you do to stay healthy while working 9-5 in an office environment filled with opportunity to make poor choices.