National Nutrition Week is celebrated every year from 1st September to 7th September. The primary aim of observing this day is to raise awareness on the importance of nutrition for health which often takes a backseat while we work in the office. Nutritious food, which has far reaching implications on development, productivity, economic growth and ultimately national development, often tends to be forgotten while performing humongous official tasks. Workplace stress leads to consumption of junk food and which further paves way to diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
When it comes to workday meals, maintaining healthy eating habits and managing your weight can be tough. High stress levels lead you to eat whatever is in front of you just for the sake of comfort. There’s often a very convenient array of cookies, birthday cake, candy, chocolate and donuts tempting us every day. If you are ready to commit to your weight loss and well-being, you must find a way to gradually introduce some changes into your workday diet and break the vicious circle of poor nutrition.
Here are some small changes that you can incorporate into your office diet:
- Eat a healthy breakfast at home before you leave for work.
- Take a quality lunch break. Walk away from your desk so you can recharge and re-focus.
- Stay away from take-out and delivery foods. The portions are usually much bigger than what you really need. If you are ordering in, opt for a salad with dressing on the side.
- Bring your own lunch from home. This way your portion is pre-determined.
- Eat slowly, enjoying every bite, and drink water between those bites.
- Set aside a few minutes to walk after you eat or climb a couple of flights of stairs. The idea is to move and to get your muscles engaged before you plop back into your chair.
- Fill your desk drawer with healthy snacking items to reach for when you need a little something to munch on between your big meals.
- Keep two or three pieces of fruit on top of your desk.
- Bring a toothbrush and try brushing your teeth after every meal. This should send a message to your brain that mealtime is over.
Saying “No” to the vending machine might prove to be tough but it will be worth the effort in the long run. Think of including more protein into your workday meals. Here are some suggestions to keep you inspired:
- For breakfast: Think dairy like milk with a low-sugar grain cereal, cottage cheese or yogurt. If you have time to make a hot breakfast, you could go with eggs or a grilled cheese sandwich made with whole wheat bread.
- For lunch: Try adding avocado, boiled eggs, strips of chicken or cubed chunks of ham to your salad. Sprinkle some sunflower seeds or chop some nuts into the mix as well. To spruce up a cold cuts sandwich, add some of your favourite condiments and seasonings.
- For snacks: Stock up on fresh and dried fruit, raw almonds, nuts, dark or semi-sweet chocolate, pistachios, dried peas, walnuts and trail mix. You can get a variety of your favourite nuts and dried fruit and mix your own trail mix. Some whole-grain crackers with peanut butter and hummus can make a great quick and nutritious snack.
These are just a few suggestions that have been proven to work for many busy and stressed dieters. You really don’t have to drastically modify your working routine (unless that’s what you choose to do). Think of slow changes that you’ll be happy sticking to for the long-term. As you succeed with your first few dieting steps, the momentum will build and you will continue to make increasingly healthier eating choices and resisting temptation to binge on those carbs at the office.