From weekly birthday celebrations to deadline-driven takeout, workplace dining can be anything but healthy. Like eating at home or anywhere else, however, some advance planning and organization will reap huge nutritional rewards. Here are our top tips for beating the office bulge and staying healthy on the job:
Prep Produce. Think of veggies and fruits as your secret weapons when it comes to eating well at work. If toiling over a cutting board sounds torturous after a long day at the office, start the week with a fridge full of pre-chopped and packaged produce for lunches and snacking. It will leave you with nutrition-packed filler for your lunch box, not to mention healthy fare for the mid-afternoon munchies.
Cook Strategic Dinners. Think about what meals translate well into leftovers, and plan your nightly menus accordingly. Things like stir-fries and soups make for great desktop meals, and are also great vehicles for vitamin-packed vegetables and filling whole grains.
Pack Lunch the Night Before. If your mornings are hectic, save yourself from fast-food oblivion by assembling a packed lunch the night before. In the AM, just grab and go.
Go Nuts for Snacking. Always keep a can of almonds or your favorite healthy nuts in a desk drawer. Not only do they have a long shelf life, they’re rich in healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Do remember that while nuts are packed with nutrition, they’re also high in calories, so portion accordingly. Other options to keep on hand include healthy, low-sugar oatmeal packets, unsweetened dried fruit, and even green tea bags for an afternoon pick me up.
Practice Portion Control. You know you shouldn’t have that doughnut, but if you can’t resist, at least limit yourself to a small portion. Office treats are the downfall of many a healthy eating plan. Allow yourself to indulge occasionally, and stick to your own food the rest of the time.
Plan for the Unexpected. When all else fails, be ready for crazy office days the best you can. Have a stack of local takeout menus on hand, and do your research in advance to determine the best food choices from each. Even the office vending machine or building cafeteria may offer some hidden nutritional gems if you really look, so scrutinize the selections ahead and so you know your best options.
With advance planning and wise choices, the office doesn’t have to be a nutritional desert. Stick to a healthy eating plan during the workweek, and enjoy enhanced wellness in everything you do.
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