8 Smart Ways to Eat Healthy During Office Hours

8 Smart Ways to Eat Healthy During Office Hours

There are times when many people worked on the field or land. Things have now changed. More and more people are sitting behind their desk. They have become used to the sedentary lifestyles that are compounded by labour-saving electronic devices and vehicles that are often used in our personal lives.

Adding to this is the expansive types of food items at our disposal and even commonly found in and even around offices. Most of these food stuffs will not be keeping up with the latest nutritional benefits and that leads to poor health.

However, poor nutrition will not just have a huge impact on our health. It would affect one’s performance at work and even negatively impact the individual’s concentration as well as energy levels. Ultimately, it would lead to frustration, irritability, and impatience.

A study conducted found that employees that participated in the wellness program containing nutritional programs were having higher productivity. Well, the whole productivity was like the whole day productivity for a day per month compared to the average worker.

It is necessary for us to have a balanced diet. Also, we need to do regular exercise, however, it is much easier than done when you have nine-hour day, but no time for a good lunch break that can be around for half an hour. A two-hour commute and home life would fit into the sixteen waking hours.

Keep in mind that there is no use of having a hefty pay pack when you do not have a healthy body to enjoy. There is no point in getting disheartened when you are planning to be well ahead for getting a healthy low-calorie, meal, and nutritious snack. That leads to a healthy lifestyle which might not be a dream.

Drawbacks You Might Come Across With Desk Dining

The biggest drawbacks of having food or any snack at your desk would be that you cannot focus on the food. Rather you would be busy sending emails, answering calls, shuffling papers, etc. All a perfect recipe for overeating.

Many nutritionists feel that eating at your desk would lead to mindless eating and sometimes to overeating. The important part you need to keep in mind is that you are multitasking here and not paying any attention to the food that you are consuming.

Additionally, lunching at your desk means that you are sitting in front of your PC or laptop for straight eight hours a day and in this case, it goes to nine hours with lunch or eating snacks added to it. Plus, eating lunch at your desk prevents you from getting up and going out of your office. You must get the heart pumping and allow the blood to flow again. Lunch is the most important time for doing that.

When you are sitting at your desk eating, you lose the opportunity for that. Well, as that was not bad enough, dinning at your desk can be the field day for germs.

Sometimes you would be called away from your desk, then you need to put off the eating for an hour or two. Later, you pick your lunch over the day; you would be hugely concerned about the temperature of the food and its safety.

In other words, the room-temperature chicken salad sandwich would be sitting out there for three-four hours. That can be the easy breeding ground for bacteria. However, do not be surprised. It would get worse. Studies show that your desk has 400 times more bacteria compared to your toilet.

Nowadays, many people turn their desk into the bacteria cafeterias as they eat on them, but never think of cleaning them. Do you know smartphones or normal phones are the dirtiest? This is followed by your desktop and mouse, PC, etc. The best ways to find out if your desktop is the dirty or not is through the dirt test. Just turn your keyword over and see how many crumbs fall out. The more there are like a snowstorm, the dirtier your desk is.

Taking Healthier Breaks

When it is the time for having coffee break, just keep it simple. You do not need to add to many extra ingredients and empty calories to your cup of joe. Here you need to limit the added sugar to around one teaspoon per each cup.

Adding extra sugar would lead to extra calories, ultimately leading to extra pounds and even becoming fat that affects and impacts your heart health. Studies and research recommend the limiting of adding total added sugar to around 6 teaspoon (25 grams) each day for women. For men, it can be around 9 teaspoons (37.5 grams).

Keep in mind that syrups and creamers would end up adding sugar too. Just think of skipping the creamers and add your favourite nut or cow milk. If you want certain added flavouring without any calories, go ahead and sprinkle some dash of vanilla extract or cinnamon in your coffee. Rather than going to the nearby coffee shop, take a cup of brewed at the work room or sipping some sparkling water taken from your home. That would help you to avoid unnecessary calories coming from the coffee.

Take and Pack a Lunch

Bringing your own lunch to your office removes the unnecessary stress of making the health choices when you are eating. Just think about taking around 10-20 minutes of break from your desk for having your lunch. Hence, you must not fall into the habit of having the ‘mindless eating’ when you are working. This would lead to the reduction of satisfaction and even lead to overeating.

To have a balanced lunch, try to add lean protein, vegetables, or fruits along with a whole grain item. Through this specific diet, you can reach to your daily nutrition goals and even make you feel full. If salad is your healthy lunch food item, then go for dark green leafy base and top it using other vegetables and lean proteins like fish or chicken.

If you are vegetarian, try the quinoa, beans, and tofu. These would serve as the best lunch proteins. You need to keep in mind that dressing and other additions would lead to fat and calories. Always aim for half your plate to be full of vegetables, and here it can be dark green salad, raw veggies, or steamed veggies.

Knowing About Sensible Snacking

It is necessary that you listen to your stomach and check out for signs of hunger. Eating every three to six hours would help to keep your hunger under check. For many people it means consuming snacks every two to three hours after having a meal.

Do you feel your office vending machine is tempting at the snack time? For avoiding such candy bars and chips, especially all the sugar, calories, and fat, etc; pack snacks from your home that contains protein and fibre as these would keep you feel satiated for a longer period.

You can purchase unsalted nuts, low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt, and whole grain crackers, etc. Even some people would purchase unbuttered popcorns, raw vegetables, and fruits to their office. You can keep some of them (extra ones) in your desk drawer or chilled inside the office refrigerator. This way the nutritious food would be handy as and when you find yourself to be hungrier as usual. Hence, if you do not require them today, the nutritious snacks would be there tomorrow too.

Methods to Become Healthy at Office Hours

1) Try to Educate Yourself

The first and most necessary thing is to learn a lot about the nutritional value and the impact it brings on the food and drinks. Many of us are aware of what is healthy and what is not. However, nutrition is more complex compared to the difference among bad and good.

There are quite a lot of myths related to many foods, for example granola bars and sushi have more amount of sugar in them compared to what one can assume. When you educate yourself, you are making it simple and easy to change your diet for getting healthier outcomes and getting better work performance.

2) Check Out the Portions You Are Going to Consume

It is always a great idea to snack and even satisfy one’s hunger pangs rather than intentionally trying to deprive one from food. The key element here is that you should not go overboard when it concerns any snacks that you take. Excess of anything can be a lot for your body to handle.

3) Developing a Routine

The Major Reason Why Most of Us Fall Into Bad Habits Is Because We Never Plan and Create a Healthy Routine. Here We Just Allow Our Plans to Be Whatever Is Easiest. When You Are Creating a Routine, You Are Preparing for Meals and Those Choices That Have Healthier Options. Hence, Whether It Is a Homemade Meal or Somewhat a Cake, You Are Deciding.

The Decision That You Are Making Is Something That You Are Before You Are Getting Hungry. Here the Key Is Simplicity Where the Dish That You Take To Your Work Should Be Simple One.

4) Placing Snacks on Your Desk

You need to stock your desk larder with many snacks compared to the regular biscuits and chips. This can be an added incentive for eating well and would prevent you from going to the vending machines or to the nearby grocery stores.

5) Never Skip Any Meal

Doctors and dieticians state that when you eat and how often you eat are necessary for eating well and getting good amount of nutrients to your diet. It is necessary that you do not skip any meal or have a lot of time among the eating of healthy snacks, as there would be chances for your glucose to drop.

Lack of proper glucose level would make it tough for one to concentrate and you might end up in overeating or consuming the wrong things for your next meal.

6) Becoming Hydrated

Of course, dehydration at work would lead to poor productivity. It can even lead to reducing your cognitive abilities, reduce the reaction times and to an extend to your morale.

It is necessary for you to be hydrated; however, you need to try that by drinking water and not the sugary and caffeinated drinks. These can have a drastic side-affect like hyperglycemia, dehydration, and distribution in sleeping.

Excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption would dehydrate one’s body and energy drinks like the ones having taurine are banned in most of the workplaces. The major reason for this is due to the hyper-caffeinated content, detrimental health effects and lack of nutritional value.

7) Smart and Proper Lunching

A healthy lunching when you are busy is one of the most important things to get the right method of having healthy diet. However, it can be challenging too.

If you check an ideal lunch will have the correct balance of sugars, protein, fibre, fat, carbohydrates, and other major nutrients.

A high carb meal like bread, pasta, and cereals would release glucose faster. These would provide you with a burst of energy that is followed by a huge slump. This can drive out our motivations and even attention.

Also, a high-fat meal can give more sustained energy, however our digestive glands would need to work harder, thereby reducing the oxygen levels present in our brain and even making us groggy.

8) Getting Rid of the Junk Food

Many of the junk food options like chips, sodas, etc; are the ones that get stocked up in most of the office spaces for employees. You can disallow your mind and body from eating these, but they will not be the wholesome solution.

It would be a good idea to keep a check on the amount you can take in a single go. Keep in mind that bingeing on junk foods is the unhealthiest habit for any person. This means you should be mindful about this. You must make sure that starch content intake in the form of rice, pastas, etc must be avoided.

Smart Way – The Best Way

Ultimately, eating healthy is important. But you should avoid all the eating activities at our workplace. Also, make sure that you have enough veggies, green leaves, etc in your diet.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.