Good nutrition is essential to good health and well-being, and considering for most of us, a 40 hours per week is spent at work or working. Often work related stress can lead us into autopilot mode where we lose the sense of mindful eating and often eating less healthy foods as a coping strategy. Healthy eating at the workplace can be our first step to helping ourselves.
A well-balanced, nourishing meal can keep our energy maintained throughout theday. Healthy eating can also help us improve our performance and productivity at the workplace. All of these can increase the overall leisure time while making our offices a lot more enjoyable.
Benefits of healthy eating at work
- Increased productivity
- Improved quality of life
- Increased energy
- Improved cognition, morale, and hence better decision making
- Lower chances of chronic illnesses and fatigue
Tips to ensure a healthy eating work week
- Balance your plate to balance your energy
Your plate should consist of high fiber carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats as well as vegetables to ensure a variety of energy and micro-nutrients.
Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time. Think easy and simple recipes such as salads, yogurt and granola, sandwiches, and left over dinners to have for lunch the following day.
- Snack smartly to encourage satiety
Combine high fiber and high protein food products to encourage satiety and steady blood sugar control. For example,roasted chickpeas, tuna on crackers, mixed nuts and seeds, peanut butter on toast.
- Encourage regular movement(NEAT)
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work,undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting.
Examples of NEAT activities: Taking the steps, parking further away, walking the dog, cooking,carrying the shopping home, doing the gardening, playing with your children at the park, washing the car, or even fidgeting at your desk.
- Practice mindful eating
Slowing down is one of the best ways we can get our mind and body to communicate what we really need for nutrition. The body actually sends its satiation signal about 20 minutes after the brain, which is why we often unconsciously overeat. Ask yourself: What are your body’s hunger signals, and what are your emotional hunger triggers?
- Take a water bottle to work
55-60% of our bodies are made up of water. Water is needed for mucus, blood, plasma, and other body fluids. Water is essential to regulate body temperature and carry nutrients to cells. Water is needed to lubricate body joints and flush out toxins. All vital organs need an adequate supply of water for optimal functioning.
Top tip- Carry a water bottle to walk, add some fruit to flavor water if you are not too fond of plain water.
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Article written by Jenead Brodell