The importance of a balanced diet is well documented and research suggests that unhealthy eating habits can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer. Following simple guidelines such as eating five fruit and vegetables a day can greatly improve your health, with research showing approximately 1.7 million deaths worldwide can be attributed to low fruit and vegetable consumption.
We consume about a third of our daily calorie intake at work, so it is important to maintain a healthy diet when you are at the office. Eating healthily at work can boost your concentration, improve your performance at work and reduce stress and anxiety. However, unhealthy eating habits are extremely common at work; for example, a third of all workers skip breakfast.
Many people find it difficult to maintain their healthy diet in the workplace, but by following the advice below you’ll be taking the first steps towards creating a healthier work environment.
Snack on healthy treats
Packing something healthy in the morning to take to work is a great way to avoid those tempting treats. If you’ve brought healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts with you to work you will be less likely to take a trip to the vending machine to keep you satisfied. Make sure to bring a variety of snacks so that you have a choice. If you need some inspiration, there are lots of fun ideas for healthy snacks online.
Drink lots of water
A healthy diet is about more than what you eat. Feeling dehydrated can make you feel sluggish or tired and sometimes even masquerades itself as hunger. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day and use it as an excuse to get up from your desk at regular periods. Set a calendar reminder every 30 minutes to remind you to have a drink.
Ask others to join you
Eating well is always difficult when you are doing it by yourself, so tell your co-workers about your new eating plan and encourage them to join in with you. It’s easier to avoid temptation when the person next to you isn’t munching on a chocolate bar!
Go out for lunch
Almost half of all workers eat lunch at their desk, rather than go for a walk or eat in the canteen. However one of the main problems with eating lunch at your desk is that you are more focused on sending emails and answering the phone than on what you are eating. When you are not paying attention to how much food you have had, you are more likely to end up overeating.
Allow yourself a treat a week
You may feel like you have to say no to office treats every time they are offered to you, but let yourself indulge a little! Instead of falling into the trap of eating the food at every office event, keep your portions in check and allow yourself a weekly treat.