Increasingly busy schedules mean fewer hours of free time, and a desperate need to make the most of those precious moments. Unfortunately, it is all too common for planning and cooking healthy meals to be one of the first things to fall to the wayside.
Cultivating healthy eating habits at home and work is one of the most powerful ways to re-energize your life and reach your optimal psychological and physical wellbeing. We have rounded up our top 5 tips to eat healthy in the office, no matter how busy you are. Check them out!
1. Make It Convenient
We like convenience, and will generally follow the path of least resistance. Set yourself up for success by making healthy foods the most convenient option for you. A good way to do this is to stock up on healthy snacks like fruits and nuts, and keep them at your desk.
If you can simply reach for a clementine rather than standing up and walk to the cake tin in the next room, you likely will forgo the sweet treat. Bulk-buying these healthy treats will encourage you to eat better over a couple of weeks, as you won’t want to waste goods you’ve already spent money on.
If you’re really craving something indulgent, keep a few cereal bars to hand. They have that soft cookie texture and sweetness but are all cold-pressed, vegan, and refined sugar-free.
2. Stay Hydrated
Studies have shown that all it takes is 500ml of water to trick your body into thinking it’s full. Water stretches the stomach enough to induce feelings of satiety. However, these feelings only last for a short while before the water is passed through into the small intestine and hunger kicks in again.
The best time to drink water is as close to mealtime as possible. One study shows that those who drank two glasses of water immediately before a meal ate 22% less than those who did not. A good challenge to set yourself is to bring a 1.5L bottle of water to work and not leave the office until it you have finished it.
If you have your own business, Investing in an office water cooler (if you don’t already have one) is another great way to encourage healthy habits in your workplace.
3. Don’t Work Through Lunch
Recent figures show that one-third of working people in Britain eat lunch at their desks. However, this has been shown to adversely affect productivity and psychological well-being.
Taking a break from work is a chance for your brain to refresh, and for you to socialize with your colleagues (which has also been shown to increase productivity and happiness at work). On top of this, mindlessly eating while distracted also makes you more likely to overeat. While it might seem counter-intuitive, taking a break for lunch actually helps you get more done and feel better doing it, both psychologically and physically.
4. Plan and Prep Meals On The Weekend
Image source: fitwomeneat.com
Not everyone has time to cook a home-made meal every night, but taking 1-2 hours of your Sunday afternoon to plan and prepare meals for the work week ahead can result in a huge pay-off to your health in the long-run.
You can bulk-boil hearty grains like wild rice, spelt, or quinoa, and whip up a simple pesto or honey-mustard sauce. Peeling and chopping veggies ahead of time means you can just pop it in the oven for 20min when you get home from work.
Not only does this approach saves you time, money, and a whole load of washing up, it allows you to be in complete control of what you consume. We aren’t saying you need to count your macros to the milligram (unless you want to), but knowing that you aren’t eating excess salt or hidden added sugars will make a world of difference to your well-being.
5. Research Your Restaurants
It is inevitable that you will have to eat out on occasion. To prepare for these scenarios, do a bit of research on restaurant and cafe options near your workplace where you know you can get quality, healthy food. Create a shortlist of your favorite options and try to schedule your lunch meetings to rotate through them.
Get some inspiration from the likes of Hummus Bros, Pollen + Grace, and SpiceBox. If you don’t have a meeting, bring a colleague with you and go for a nice lunch out. It’ll give you the chance to change the scenery and clear your mind before tackling you afternoon to-do list.
Reset your body to kick-start a healthier life on a detox retreat. You just need a weekend to detox your body and start eating healthy on a daily basis!