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If you are eating a sandwich at your office right now, then this text is for you.
What is wrong with eating at the office?
Every day approximately 67 percent of office workers eat at their desk, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you think this might be a way to impress your boss or to show commitment while typing between forkfuls of salad, I am sorry to disappoint you, but such habit brings nothing good.
Even if you eat a healthy blend of fiber, protein and fat – you are still in your seat, spending another hour in front of a computer, contributing to problems with your eyesight, concentration, motivation, etc.
Why people overeat? They eat at their desks. When the phone rings, you’ll answer it. If there are emails to be sent, or papers to be shuffled, or if the copy machine breaks when at work, multitasking is your biggest enemy if you want to stay healthy and eat healthy food.
Desk dining leads to poor nutrition. However, many people still eat at their desks several times a week. So, why do we do that? It’s easy to find an excuse. The truth is that sometimes we don’t have time for all the things we have or wish to do. In an economy-driven world, sometimes 24 hours aren’t long enough for us to do everything we plan or have to do.
Moreover, what is wrong with eating at the office?
Bad lunch habits
Your lunch habits make a big difference in your life, and although you might be thinking that off-site lunch break is a productivity-killer, in fact, it could help you to do things more effectively. Why? Eating at your office leads to more stress and reduces cognitive control and brain functions, according to German researchers. Time for relaxation is linked with productivity and can help ward of burnout at work.
In case you need to go and fix that copy machine, you should question the safety of the food. Plenty of bacteria will be easily drown to your desk, making your food a bacteria-feeding ground.
Working atmosphere and the interior can enchase your appetite; in such atmosphere, many crave for sweets and junk food, and if you eat more junk food, you will have less energy and concentration, and more pounds.
By eating while preoccupied with the Internet or a spreadsheet, our body and brain don’t properly process the amount of food we consume. Moreover, the hormone leptin is often late to signal the brain that it’s time to stop eating.
We think that we eat healthy food; however, healthy nutrition is all about knowing what your body needs, why it needs it, and where you can get it. For instance, refined sugar is linked with insomnia, hypertension, dizziness, allergies, hair loss and skin irritation, and many foods we perceive as healthy, in fact, contain refined sugar.
One survey showed that office workers are more likely to eat fattening food, snacking later during the day. Mindless eating obscures our ability to know when to stop eating.
It all comes to two options: to either find a new place to eat or improve and change our eating habits.
How can we improve our eating habits and eat healthier at work?
Planning it the first step
You will eat healthier and receive proper vitamins and minerals if you plan your lunch. Thinking about the food you eat, planning, and preparing it, is very important for healthy nutrition in the office. Preparing your own lunch is a great way to educate yourself more about healthy foods, thus, you will, for instance, avoid common mistakes related to food combining.
Do not skip breakfast
If you wish to change your eating habits, do not skip breakfast – breakfast is the most important meal. Many studies showed that breakfast is important in numerous ways: for our mental and physical strength, for our body and overall health.
Munch on healthy snacks throughout the day
When you plan your lunch, why don’t you bring some healthy snacks as well? Snacking is an important part of healthy eating habits, especially in the office. Pistachios and almonds, for instance, are great snacks that have great benefits for your mental health. If you satisfy your hunger with healthy snacks, your blood sugar will remain more stable, and you’ll more likely stick with your healthy packed lunch.
Eat with a friend
Vending machines can easily throw you off track. It can be difficult to resist temptation, so, if you have to eat at your desk, invite a friend who shares the same passion and tends to develop healthy eating habits. Eat with this friend every day.
Talk about your nutritional needs with your manager
Today, unfortunately, cafeterias are packed with unhealthy foods, mostly because they are easy for distribution, they sell well, and they are usually cheaper. However, be a positive example to your coworkers and talk to your representatives about changing the food menu in the cafeteria.
It’s good to show initiative regarding healthy nutrition, thus management should meet the needs of their employees.
Be more demanding with takeout
Studies showed that many people have natural tendencies to “clean the plates” or to finish the bag, which means you should be careful with the portions. Moreover, when you prepare your lunch at home, you prepare it with care paying attention to the nutritional value, and with takeout that might not be the case. Even with your best intention, there might be days when you are not going to be able to plan your lunch, and takeout might be your only option. When this happens, be choosy with takeout options and opt for those that contain vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.
Walk when you can
If you have to eat at your desk, find ways to move around more during the day. Walk whenever you can. Our bodies are designed for movement.
Proper hydration increases productivity, reduces stress and helps us think more clearly. Make an effort to drink water often, and start your day with a glass of water.
Always have a bottle of water in your office.
Do you eat healthy at work?
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Last article update: 6/10/2019