Written by Maris Kuklis, Senior Account Manager
Between a stressful commute, long office hours and a busy social life, eating well and staying active can be hard. Even with the best of intentions, many people find they just don’t have the time to eat healthy and exercise during the working week and a lot of us end up snacking on sugary foods and skipping workout sessions.
If you’re tied to your desk from 9-5 but still want to eat as well as possible, here are a few tips for boosting your nutritional intake and improving your diet during busy office hours.
- Don’t skip breakfast
Whether you believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day or not, having a bite to eat in the mornings will help to give you energy for the day and prevent you snacking in the run up to lunch.
If you don’t have time to sit down to a bowl of porridge or a portion of fruit, try making a big batch of smoothies or healthy muffins at the beginning of the week and grabbing a portion every morning.
Throw a few handfuls of nuts or seeds into your muffins or smoothies to up their nutritional content and keep hunger at bay till lunch.
- Healthy snacks
Though snacking on sugary cereal bars, crisps and chocolate is bad news for your diet, eating healthy snacks throughout the day will help to keep your energy levels up and prevent you over eating when it comes to meal times.
Fruit and raw veg like apples, carrots, celery and tangerines all make good healthy snacks. Bananas are also packed full of nutrients, however ripe bananas contain a lot of sugar so try to avoid eating too many during the working day.
You can also make your own super snack by mixing nutritious seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds with dried berries and nuts. Seed, nut and berry mixes are incredibly nutritious, containing a range of essential vitamins and minerals. This will help to boost your energy levels and stop you reaching for those biscuits and crisps at lunchtime.
- Avoid a coffee overload
When you’re run off your feet in the office, it can be all too easy to reach for the coffee cup and rely on a regular caffeine hit to get you through the day.
And though a few cups here and there won’t do you any harm, if you drink more than four cups of coffee a day (or 400mg of caffeine) it can start to have negative effects on your health.
From increasing anxiety and causing heart palpitations to nausea, dizziness and insomnia, drinking too much coffee could actually make your busy day at work even tougher.
- Stay hydrated
Instead of relying on coffee, try drinking herbal teas or water instead. Not only will these non-caffeinated, low sugar drinks help you to stay hydrated, they can also help to stop you feeling hungry. This is because a lot of people actually mistake thirst for hunger, filling up on snacks when all they really need is a glass or two of water.
Staying hydrated throughout the day will help you to feel more awake, increase your skin’s elasticity and prevent you from suffering from hydration related headaches.
- Go for nutritional quality over quantity
When you’re working long hours at the office, it can be all too tempting to reach for filling, comforting foods when it comes mealtimes. From white rice and pasta to bread and chips, these beige carbs may be filling, but they are lacking when it comes to nutrition.
Instead of going for bulk, try to choose meals that are nutritious, replacing plain pasta and rice with healthier brown options and opting for grilled, steamed and boiled foods instead of fried or roasted options.
Fish, chicken, tofu and lean meat are all great for nutritional lunches or healthy evening meals, with dark green vegetables and a handful of nuts or seeds adding even more nutrition to your plate.
Though it can be tough, eating well and staying healthy in a busy office isn’t impossible, all it takes is a little will power, a bit of organisation and a dash of knowhow.
By staying hydrated, avoiding coffee and staying topped up with healthy snacks, you’ll soon start feeling and looking healthier, however hard you’re working in the office.