How to Develop
Healthy Eating Habits at the Office
Busy schedules, unpredictable workday plans and stress that is a common companion of many hard-working professionals affect our diet. The result is, we stick to unhealthy eating habits: skipping breakfast, preferring sugary snacks, and sometimes – let’s admit it – forgetting to eat. This inevitably adds to stress, fatigue, and energy deprivation.
Choosing wisely what and how we eat is indispensable for maintaining physical and mental health. Physical comfort and high energy levels not only allow us to achieve more – they also help stay calm and resist stress. Healthy eating directly influences our work and everyday life – therefore it’s something worth close attention. So, how to develop healthy eating habits?
Never skip breakfast
Being one of the unhealthiest eating habits, it’s also one of the hardest to quit. Not having time for breakfast is typical for “night owls” who are struggling with getting up early and would prefer another 30 minutes of sleep over a healthy meal. And no, coffee is not a real breakfast!
However, breakfast is essential for staying energized throughout the day. Make sure your breakfast meals align with your diet (if any), choose nutritious and well-balanced foods, and avoid processed meals. For example, cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are traditional breakfast meals – and a perfect choice for a healthy start of the day.
Drink more water
Staying hydrated is good for physical health and mental comfort, but maintaining necessary hydration levels is always challenging in a busy rhythm. Keep a water bottle at your desk, and set up reminders to refill it.
Eight glasses of water a day are the common recommendation, but this amount can vary depending on your physical activity, environmental conditions, etc. It is recommended to drink room temperature water in regular intervals, but not immediately before or after the meal.
Bring healthy snacks
To relieve stress, we often indulge ourselves in high-carb snacks: chocolate bars, potato chips, cookies etc. They are easier to get in a typical office environment as they are sold in vending machines, but their effects on health and wellbeing can be detrimental. That’s why, it’s important to be mindful about what you’re choosing as a snack.
Remove the temptations from your workplace, and replace them with fruits, almonds, protein bars, or any other healthy snacks of your choice. Another option is bringing vegetables for salad, if your workplace environment allows an additional pause for preparing and eating it.
Don’t miss your lunch time
Many of us work through lunch time, eating at the desk or skipping lunch at all – occasionally or regularly. High workloads, plans to leave earlier, and attempts to squeeze more in the workday are the most common culprits. Needless to say, it negatively affects the digestive system and adds to work-related stress.
Step away from your desk for your lunch break. First, it will prevent you from eating inconsistently; second, you’ll be able to use lunch time for switching off from work, relaxing, and recharging. Don’t use your lunch time for discussing work-related issues. Instead, enjoy your meal, use your free time to chat with your coworkers, read a book, or meditate.
Eat at regular intervals
Our daily schedule is usually centered around work tasks to the extent where we suffer from long pauses without eating. The results don’t limit to the harm for digestive system health and dehydration. 4-5-hour intervals between meals also prevent us from properly focusing on work.
To stay energized, eat frequently throughout the day. Don’t fall into overeat-to-starve cycles. If necessary, readjust your schedule to free up intervals for your meals, and avoid centering your daily routine solely around work tasks.
Busy work life and stress inevitably affect our eating habits. The results can range from mild discomfort to severe health issues, increased fatigue, and effects on mental health. Staying mindful about what, when, and how we eat helps maintain healthy lifestyle, prevent negative effects, and enjoy high energy levels.
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