On average, we spend about eight or nine hours per day at work. For many of us, that means eating both our breakfast and our lunch away from home. This shouldn’t become a problem, except, because our days are busy and deadline-driven, it’s easier to run down the road for a burger and chips than it is to prepare your our lunch. Fast food is becoming the staple diet of many urbanites, and as a result we’re becoming unhealthier by the day.
So what can we do about it? Well, for starters, we have to change old habits. Just because we’re short on time, it doesn’t mean we have to resort to instant or fast foods. Take our advice and start getting healthier at the office:
Pack your own lunch
Unhealthy eating occurs (more often than not) when you a) don’t have time to go and make a sandwich, so you end up buying fast food to save time, or b) when you see your colleagues eating fast food and you start craving it too. Banish bad eating by making time after dinner every evening to pack food for work the next day. If you can, double up the amount of food you cook for dinner and take the leftovers to work.
Snacking during the day will not only keep your energy levels up, but it will prevent you from overeating at mealtimes. Keep healthy snacks in your drawer at your desk to nibble on when you start feeling peckish. Keep a stash of raw nuts, dried and fresh fruit, low fat yogurts and Provita / Ryvita.
Choose long-lasting energy foods
If you’re making sandwiches (always a popular choice for lunch), opt for brown, low GI bread. The same goes for mueslis and cereal bars – low GI foods release energy slower than other foods, meaning you stay fuller for longer and you don’t get that energy crash you experience after eating refined starches and sugars.
Soups and salads are great alternatives to sandwiches for the office. Prepare them fresh to enjoy the goodness of the fruit and veggies! And for those who think a salad can’t be filling enough – add some avocado, chicken strips, feta cheese or cashew nuts to make it more substantial.
Drink water / tea
It’s tempting to buy cold fizzy drinks or warm lattes during the day, but the amount of sugar we consume through our drinks is skyrocketing! Keep a bottle of water in the fridge for warm days (you can add chopped cucumber, lemon or strawberries to it for a subtle flavour) and keep a selection of herbal and rooibos teas at your desk for colder days. These can always be sweetened with a teaspoon of honey if you find them too bitter.
Not only will these tips help you live a healthier lifestyle, but they’ll help you save money too! Treat yourself to something special with the money you’ve saved all month by not eating out – an incentive always help!