At work, it often seems that there are no in-betweens: either you’re living large with extra guac on that burrito, or sitting down for another sad desk salad. You think to yourself, “there must be a better way!” Ditching workplace mindsets around food is difficult. There always seems to be something that gets in the way of regular eating- not being able to take lunch, leftover catering from a meeting, mindless snacking, or not packing enough food. All of these reasons, and more, prevent us from feeling satisfied and eating well at work. It is possible to feel full and happy without sacrificing work time. Read below for four strategies for eating well at work!
1. Stay Stocked
We all know that 3 PM feeling when lunch wasn’t quite enough and there are no snacks in sight. Being hungry at work is the worst- it's distracting and can make the day drag on. The best way to prevent the mid-afternoon (or any time of day) snack attack is to always stay fully stocked. Keep a stash of non-perishable items like trail mix, popcorn, rice cakes, and tortilla chips. To be extra prepared, add in condiments that can punch up your meals, like hot sauce, soy sauce, or nut butters. Having back-up snacks ensures you’ll never take a sad, unsatisfying trip to the vending machines again!
2. Plan Ahead
Planning is your friend when it comes to staying full and happy. Try batch prepping items at the beginning of the week. Make a few dishes or cook items that can be repurposed into many meals, like grains and grilled vegetables. For breakfast on the go, stick with staples like overnight oats, cereal (if you have access to a kitchen) or protein bars.
Planning out meals is not only good for your stomach, but for your wallet too. It helps prevent over-buying and food waste. Meal prep isn’t just eating the same lunch all week- it’s thinking strategically about the food you want to consume.
3. Cut Corners
Eating well at work doesn’t have to mean hours slaving away in the kitchen. Whether life gets too busy or cooking simply isn’t a priority, there are many services that make great meals accessible. Try meal services such as Freshly or Territory Foods that provide full, healthy meals that just need to be heated up. If you have time for some quick-cooking, try a meal kit service like Gobble, which takes out many time-consuming steps in recipes such as making sauces or chopping vegetables.
When it comes to the grocery store, invest in some ready-made items like pre-cooked meats, salad kits, or microwave rice. These essentials will help you make great choices, even when you’re in a hurry.
4. Balance is Everything
When trying to eat better at work, balance is key. Don’t be hard on yourself if you snack all day, grab a leftover sandwich from a meeting instead of eating your packed lunch, or stop at McDonald’s on the way to the office. The most important thing to remember is to give your body what feels good.
Food is fuel, and to perform well at work, you need to put the right things (and the right amount) into your body! Eating better at work is just one of the many facets of office wellness. It is a change that anyone can implement, no matter what type of office space they work in.