Tips to Eat Healthy While You're at Work

No matter how busy you are, healthy eating is always an option. With a little planning and commitment, a workday doesn’t have to derail your diet. Follow these tips to eat healthy while you’re at work.

Prepare the night before

You often derail your diet when you’re tired, stressed, or just so darn hungry that everything looks good. A rushed morning can be a bad time when it comes to making healthy choices. Prep your meals and snacks the night before so that you can just grab them and head out the door when it’s time for your commute.

Healthy, portable foods include roast vegetables, grilled chicken, tuna or salmon pouches, natural peanut butter packets, cut-up fruit or vegetables, hummus, small servings of nuts or seeds, and whole-grain crackers. Pack an assortment of these in your briefcase, backpack, or purse so you always have a healthy alternative to the vending machine or convenience store.

Take a break to eat

Though it’s tempting to eat and work at your desk, it can lead to mindless munching and less satisfaction. Take 20 to 30 minutes to sit away from your tasks and actually enjoy your meal. Better yet, head to the break room, and sit with a few of your favorite colleagues. This makes your eating time an event, rather than something you do while working.

Be aware of pitfalls

Avoid passing the break room on days Jennie brings in doughnuts, or stay away from Marty’s desk area if he always has a bowl of candy available. The more you can limit your exposure to diet derailers, the better.

Become the person who has several pieces of fresh fruit on your desk for you – or anyone – to snack on when the munchies hit.

Plan for events

Work events such as going-away luncheons, conferences, and birthday celebrations can set your healthy eating plans into a tailspin. If you know you have an off-site meeting at a restaurant, review the menu beforehand, so you’re ready to order the healthiest option and aren’t hastily scanning it while being distracted by your client or co-workers.

Take time to grocery shop

Plan a weekly grocery shopping trip, so you always have healthy food on hand to pack for your work lunches and work-time snacks. Without ingredients, you can’t pack a quality lunch, which means you’re likely to order take-out or skip meals altogether. Skipping meals can make you overly hungry, so you make bad choices at dinner, too.

When you go shopping for groceries, arm yourself with a list that includes ingredients for your lunches. You may choose items, such as all-natural deli turkey or roast beef, whole-grain bread, fresh fruit, baby carrots, single-serving yogurt containers, lettuce, and eggs to hard boil for a quick, protein-rich snack.

Pack leftovers

If you’re making healthy dinners for your family, cook a little extra so you have a serving to pack and take to lunch the next day. For example, toss an additional chicken breast on the grill to top a romaine and red bell pepper salad, or cook up extra brown rice to have with a half-cup of canned black beans, salsa, and sliced avocado.

Prepare healthy lunches and snacks in advance to set yourself up for dieting success, even when you’re at work.

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