Did you know your work productivity has a direct link to what you consume, especially during office hours? Statistics reveal that unhealthy eating leads to a 66% increased risk of low productivity while smoking is linked to a 28% increased risk of loss of productivity. Clearly, the effect of eating is not limited to your waistline – it could be affecting your productivity, progress, and yes – the monthly cheque you take home!
Now that we’ve got your attention, here are 7 easy tips for healthy eating at the office.
#1 Avoid the morning rush, pack your office meals the night before: Mornings are crazy in most households. It’s futile to think you’d be able to wake up early, cook and pack food and snacks for office time in the morning. Instead, move the task to evenings and you’ll be better prepared – not only will you have time to home cook the meals you plan to eat the next day, you’ll be able to give attention to its nutritional value, and plan ahead for the week.
#2 Get some sound sleep: An old saying goes like this: Learn that the primary keys to health are good nutrition, pure water, adequate sleep, routine exercise and happiness.
Getting enough and quality rest is one of the sure ways to eating healthy and keeping fit. You must have experienced that when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep or are overtired, you tend to reach out more for sugar-laden foods, coffee/tea, and fried stuff.
#3 Be it the boardroom or the classroom – breakfast matters: The importance of breakfast cannot be over emphasized – research shows that a healthy breakfast has a positive effect on behaviour, cognitive performance, and memory. Moreover, eating healthy at breakfast time means you are more likely to eat healthy at the office too. To stay energized all day, opt for a high-protein breakfast like smoked chicken salamis, eggs, or porridge. Protein being a complex molecule takes time to break down and helps keep you full through the day, resulting in fewer cravings.
#4 Don’t forget – beverages count: Creamy coffees, tea with sugar, fruit juices, flavoured water, etc. – they all pack more calories than you think. So while in office, don’t just reach out for any beverage to get back your mojo – choose them wisely. Opt for plain water, buttermilk, cold soups, and tea/coffee without sugar to keep yourself hydrated, attentive, and at your productive best.
#5 Use your desk drawer as an emergency snack cabinet: Okay, so you have finished eating all the pre-planned fruit and snack you got from home and are still hungry. Instead of rushing to the office cafeteria to buy samosa, wafers, or other calorie-laden stuff, stock your desk drawer with healthy snacks for such times. This could include almonds, whole-wheat biscuits/crackers, dry fruits, instant oatmeal, etc.
#6 Use the workday schedule to your advantage: Your time in office already has a structure – you know when your meetings, appointments, and deliveries are due, unless of course something urgent and unplanned comes up. Likewise, factor in time for snacking and meals without disruptions at regular intervals. Your planned snack/meal-time should be like any other important to-do item on your daily list. This will limit mindless eating and eating out of stress.
#7 A polite ‘No, thank you’ will turn out to be your biggest asset: For working people, the biggest hurdle to eating healthy at office comes from office parties, team lunches, and the frequent round of sweets/snacks doing the rounds in lieu of countless celebrations. Don’t be easily led into unhealthy temptations that are a common part of the workplace. Learn to politely decline the offer, thank the person at the other end, and move on from there – lest the sight of food tempt you into slacking on your diet plan.
It’s all in your brain
It really is – eating healthy is all about syncing your stomach and brain with each other. That happens when you eat slow, avoid multi-tasking at meal times, and allow for your brain to register the activity. It will then direct your stomach when full and help you avoid over-eating. So the next time you sit down to eat – remember these tips and be it office or home, you are sure to be kicking fit and keeping those kilos at bay!