We all strive to eat healthy, but sometimes real life can get in the way and make that very difficult. Sticking to a healthy diet at work can be even tougher. It’s hectic, you’re stressed, and some weeks you wonder how it’s possible to have so many birthdays in one week!
Making things even more difficult is the fact that many, if not most, of your co-workers are not going to be on the same page as you. Your occasional splurge is their everyday treat. And when you forget to bring healthy food, there’s nothing but chips and candy in the vending machine.
But you shouldn’t lose hope! While it can be tough, there are some easy ways you can make sticking to eating healthy at work not such a chore, and perhaps even spark a change in your entire office! Keep reading to learn how.
What’s wrong with office food?
It’s become commonplace for many offices these days to offer low-cost or even free snacks, lunches, and drinks for their employees. Sure, we know that it’s really about keeping us their longer, but at least they pretend to try, right?
But the problem here is that you leave yourself to the mercy of someone like your office administrator who has little to no background in nutrition. To make things worse, they’re going to be concerned with picking options that will please the majority of people.
And what does that mean for you? An endless stream of high-calorie sandwiches, chips, donuts, cinnamon rolls… you know the drill. Take a peek in the office fridge if they supply drinks as well. What do you find? Soda, soda, and more soda!
While this free stream of food can help out tremendously when money’s tight, turning to them again and again will mean terrible things for your waistline. Here’s a quick example that may apply to you:
Your average size (12oz) can of Coca-Cola checks in at 140 calories. If you grab a free one from the breakroom twice a day during a particularly hectic, stressful month at work, you’d be looking at about 40 cans of Coke for the month.
Not so bad when you spread it out over a month, right? Wrong! Those 40 cans of soda translate to 5600 additional calories over the course of a month. Since 3500 calories equals 1 pound, that could mean you’re sipping your way to 1.6 pounds gained just that month.
Follow that twice-a-day soda routine for an entire year and you’ve packed on over 19 pounds! And remember, that’s assuming you’ve been saying no to a bag of chips or a candy bar to go with your drink that whole time.
Getting co-workers on board
The obvious option to turn to if your work is supplying loads and loads of waistline-killing free food and drink is to bring your own healthy choices from home. This is a terrific (and the quickest) solution, but won’t remove the temptations you face.
If you’ve gotten used to grabbing a quick piece of candy with a work friend whenever you have a tough meeting, it can be hard to say no even if you’ve got your own healthy options waiting in your purse or desk.
A better solution is to get your whole office involved, or at least a few like-minded people. Even if you work in a small office where it seems that no one else cares about eating healthy, you very likely have co-workers who wish for healthier options as well.
If you know someone in your office is a runner, or maybe someone that likes cooking healthy at home, have a chat with them and any others you think might be like-minded. It’s likely they also want to see more healthy options at your office.
Once you have more people on board, you’ll have much more sway when you talk to the person in charge of picking your office’s food and drinks. Just ask that a small but fair percentage of what your work offers be healthy, and you stand a good chance of receiving a positive response.
It starts at breakfast
Eating healthy in the office is more than just ensuring that you have nutritious options available in the work kitchen. In fact, how you eat during your day at work actually begins much earlier — with what you do (or not eat) for breakfast at home!
Make sure that you’re waking up early enough to be able to get something healthy in your belly. I know, you’re probably thinking I don’t have time to cook or I’m not hungry in the mornings. Believe me, I feel the same way but there is an easy solution.
If you’re not up to cooking yourself some oatmeal, or making a high-protein low-calorie meal in the morning, make yourself a protein shake. (They’re not just for bodybuilders!) Mixed with skim milk, you’ll get around 40g of protein and 10g of carbs for under 300 calories.
All that protein in your stomach should keep you feeling full and satisfied through your mid-morning sweets craving, or at least give you the willpower to choose a healthier option like a handful of nuts or some fruit instead.
Make it happen
So there you have it! Eat healthy at the office by practicing these easy steps:
- Team up with co-workers to ensure you have healthy options available in your office environment.
- If that’s not an option, pack some healthy snacks so you’ll have something around that won’t ruin your diet.
- Finally, be sure to eat a well-rounded breakfast, or at least drink a protein shake before you head out the door.
Practice these tips for success and eating healthy at work will be a breeze, not seemingly impossible!
Oh, and don’t forget to pin this in case you need a quick reminder later on!