How to Eat Well and Healthy at Work

 Having a balanced diet plays an important role in one’s health and wellbeing. Eating lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains can reduce the risk of some mental health conditions such as depression. In addition, healthy mealtime helps your brain get the nutrients it needs to function and keep you well all day, especially at work where you are required to focus on challenging tasks and responsibilities.

On the contrary, unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic. In the U.S., for instance, about one-third of adults (33.8 per cent) are obese and approximately 17 percent (12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese due to eating an unhealthy diet like junk foods, CDC reported. Besides obesity, unhealthy food also accounts for high-blood pressure, high cholesterols, heart disease and stroke, type-2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and so on. 

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That being said, the links between good nutrition and a healthy diet are too important to ignore. By taking steps to eat well, you will be on your way to get the nutrients your body needs and live a healthy life. Making small changes in your diet requires a commitment, but it is easier to go to that way rather than bearing the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle. 

“How you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future lies in your food choices.”

So, how do you suppose to eat at work? If your workplace does not offer healthy options, the best thing is to prepare your own foods. Bringing your own lunch is way cheaper and healthier than buying a ready meal. It will also save your energy and time of walking too far when your company does not have a healthy cafeteria nearby. 

Get the right meal  in your lunch sack 

To prevent hunger pangs between meals and overindulging at mealtimes, spread your food intake over five to six smaller meals and snacks, rather than eating three large meals a day.  Thus, when packing your lunch, make sure you throw a few snacks into your lunch box such as mozzarella cheese sticks, hummus, sliced apples, mandarin oranges, and fruit or yoghurts. 

For the main course, you can prepare foods that contain the following points: 

  • Complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, or brown rice. 
  • Protein such as salmon, chicken, tuna, nuts, tofu, beans, turkey, lean beef, or eggs. 
  • Low-fat dairy products such as low-fat milk, reduced-fat cheeses, yoghurt, or soy milk. 
  • Assorted fruits such as oranges, apples, avocados, mangos, blueberries, raisins, or bananas.

Prepare your meal while you make dinner 

Preparing your lunch foods while making your dinner will save your time so you won’t be in a rush in the morning. It is easy as all you should do is make an extra serving of your dinner and set it aside for the next day. However, if you don’t want to eat the same meals for two days in a row and want different things, you can prepare different things or do something new with the food you have. 

As an example, your dinner is roasted chicken with some potatoes and mustard greens. For lunch, you can slice the same roasted chicken and prepare it with a whole-wheat pita with some onion and apple slices. Or, you can toss it in with some whole-wheat pasta and broccoli. Simple, cheap, and healthy!

Organise a weekly “lunch club” with your co-workers 

To make it more fun, you can form a lunch club where everyone can bring their own meal. It can be once a week or two weeks, depending on your team preference. Then, each member can have a taste of different meal from someone’s lunch box. Or, each member should bring a different meal for each meeting. Always highlight healthy options on each member’s favourite takeout menus. 

For example, Anna brings the main dish. Dash brings the appetizer, Charlie brings snacks or desserts. The schedule will be rolled and each person will bring foods that are enough for the whole member. 

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In average, people in Asia Pacific spend more than six hours or a quarter of their day at work. Within such long working hours, employees are expected to keep their focus attentiveness on the same level throughout the day. That being said, you need to handle the first few minutes of your workday with habits that will boost productivity and efficiency for the rest of the day.

How you start your day will affect moods, set the tone, and eventually determine your success in doing the job. Failing to set up good morning habits will lead to unproductive and chaotic day because people often find themselves in no mood to work for the whole day due to bad morning they experience. If you want to start off your day with something good, here are useful habits you should be practicing right away:

Have healthy breakfast

‘I do not have time,’ ‘I am on diet,’ and ‘I have no appetite in the morning’ are among the most common excuses people make to avoid breakfast. While in fact, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. People who are used to have breakfast in the morning are less likely to suffer from obesity, have more stable sugar blood level, and certainly, they have more energy to hit the running ground and seize the day. Thus, do not forget to take your breakfast and face the day with better vitality.

Come on time

Showing up late does not only affect your attendance list, but also stirs up your mood for the entire day. Things will definitely get worse if you get scolded from supervisor for arriving late. Nobody wants to have morning lecture from the boss for their breakfast, let alone in front of the whole team. Thus, coming early to work will hinder you from any morning ruckus as well as setting better mindset for the day.

Take a deep breath

Upon your coming to your seat, do not directly log into computer. Pause the moment to take a deep breath and let the air fills your lung. Morning traffic, unsolved problems at home, or long queue on the subway could be very stressful. By taking deep breath, you can throw away this stress and focus on the job you have to finish at work.

Do simple exercise

Taking some time to do simple exercise like stretching and walking around the office will help loosening tense and blood circulation. You will spend hours sitting on your chair so doing some little workout will be a great way to prepare your body.

Reflect yesterday’s work

Evaluating what you have achieved yesterday is important as part of self-assessment. So when you have done with a project, you can move on to another with comfort. Leave anything that happened yesterday and start the day with fresh minds.

Spare time for a chitchat

Greeting and having a chitchat with a cup of coffee on hand with your co- will definitely help you relax workers before diving into piles of work.

Map out today’s work

Find out what you need to do with the current projects you are working on. Listing down everything into a to-do list will greatly help you to prioritize something that need to be taken care first. Focus on what should be accomplished. If it can be done today, do not procrastinate and wait until tomorrow. While you still have abundant stamina in the morning, it is better to finish the most important tasks first before the other.

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