5 Ways To Eat Better At Work

It’s so easy to rush from home each morning on your way to work, without thinking about breakfast, never mind what you’ll eat throughout the rest of the day.

Before you know it, though, you’re onto your third cup of coffee, and feeling as flat as can be. How can you possibly make it through the rest of the day feeling like that?

Maybe you grab something quickly at lunch, without giving it much thought. Then, your afternoon is filled by endless snacking to make up the calorie gap, and boost your energy levels.

That’s certainly not a nice place to be in. However, it’s totally understandable, if you haven’t planned your day’s eating ahead of time.

The worst thing about this trainwreck pattern of eating, is that it contributes to feelings of stress, lethargy, and general poor health. And, you can’t even be bothered to think about eating well in a state like that.

But, you need to…

Start now, and I promise you’ll notice the benefits in your health, energy and stress levels by the end of the week.

So, what can you do to improve your work diet?

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1. Don’t Skip Breakfast

Yes, you probably guessed I was going to say that! But, you have to find a way to make this advice work for you.

Whether it’s getting up 10 minutes earlier, or preparing something the night before, you need to eat breakfast in the morning.

At the very least, you should eat something on your way to work, or when you arrive at work — nuts and fruit are perfect for breakfast on the go.

2. Keep Fruit Handy

If you find it difficult to get enough fruit into your day, one of the best tips I’ve found is to place two or three pieces of fruit out on your desk.

Obviously, the aim is to eat the fruit by the end of the day, not merely admire it! :-)

That’s the best way to guilt your conscious into eating fruit over other unhealthy choices, such as office chocolates, or heading to the vending machine.

3. Get Some Fresh Air

I am so guilty of this one, sitting at my desk a lot of the day, rather than taking a break to go outside for a few minutes.

I’ve found you need to plan going out to make it work, though.

Lunch break is a good time to schedule for a short walk. And, when you plan ahead you’re less likely to keep working away at those deadlines, instead to taking the break you deserve.

Make a date with a friend for a short walk and catch up at the same time, if you find this really difficult to stick with.

4. Bring Healthy Supplies

My Snack Box

This point is really a follow on from point two, but more specific.

Whether you make up your own snack box, or order one from a company like Lollihop in the US, or Graze in the UK, having healthy food in front of you all of the time is going to help you make the right choices when you feel peckish between meals.

It makes total sense that if you have healthier options nearby, you are going to increase your chance of eating better.

Here are a few snack suggestions:

  • Small bag of nuts and seeds
  • Small box of mixed bean salad
  • Small bag of wholegrain breakfast cereal
  • In the fridge you could have some raw veg, hummus, hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, or some lean meat.
If you bring a large snack box, you will have enough food for snacks and lunch, to keep you eating healthy throughout the whole day.

5. Cut Back On Coffee

There’s nothing wrong with one or two cups of coffee each day. But, if you are drinking too much of it, or you add lots of sugar each time, you need to keep an eye on your intake.

Green tea may not seem very appealing when you’re used to drinking coffee, but give it a go for a couple of weeks, and see how much better you feel.

Don’t forget to drink some water each time you have a caffeinated drink, too.

I’m using a GoodLife bottle at present, and absolutely love it. It’s BPA free, which means it is much healthier than drinking from a plastic bottle.

Anyway, my point is, get yourself a water bottle to carry around, so that you stay well hydrated throughout the day — no excuses!

What tips would you share for eating healthier at work?

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jurga January 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I’d love to have a goodlife bottle but it’s rather pricy – I’ve just looked up on Amazon and it would cost around £20 incl p&p!

Reply

Melanie January 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I know, Jurga. That’s the only downside. It is a bottle for life, though. You know that when you have it in your hands, they feel very good quality.

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Kati Mora, MS, RD, Kellogg's FiberPlus(R) Wellness Advocate January 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Discovering ways to eat healthy while working is so important! I always make sure I have a stash of healthy foods on hand just in case I can’t make lunch or end up working longer than I thought I would. Kellogg’s FiberPlus(R) cereal, yogurt, and fresh fruit are always close by.

Reply

Melanie January 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I don’t find cereal particularly filling, but if I’m having it, will add some chopped fruit and nuts on top, and maybe some natural yogurt, too.

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Kati Mora, MS, RD, Kellogg's FiberPlus(R) Wellness Advocate January 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Combining all three (cereal, yogurt, and fruit) is a really great way to go. And I love that you add nuts on top too. Great idea!

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Chad Anderson January 12, 2012 at 12:01 am

I think #4 by far is the most important. We are such creatures of convenience that we will grab the item of least resistance to satisfy our hunger when it strikes. If the only thing available is something unhealthy, we will undoubtedly choose to eat it because of its accessibility. Keeping something that is both healthy and accessible nearby is huge.

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Matt B January 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Great post thanks Melanie! I work in downtown Manhattan and I can personally attest to all of those bad habits, especially when I’m on the run 5-6 days a week.

What do you think about keeping a box or two of nutrition/protein bars in the office? One of my tricks is that I’ve been ordering nutrition bars in bulk from amazon and storing them in my office just for those hectic days when I don’t have the time to prepare a healthy snack (which unfortunately, is like 4-5 days a week). Also, I’ve realized that by buying in bulk I can reduce the in-store purchase price by 50% or more.

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