At Wax Digital, we’ve got a crisis with sugar. Almost every day, it’s someone’s birthday or another special occasion, and as such, our kitchen is packed the rafters with doughnuts, cake, chocolate or other sugary confectionaries. It’s relentless – and it’s relentless on your waistline too!
The problem isn’t just the cakes. According to research by NOO.org, 63% of office workers started 2017 obese. Worse yet, absences due to lifestyle-related diseases cost the UK economy around £8.2 billion a year. Being sedentary, combined with an excess of calories and on occasion, questionable lunch choices is causing Britain’s office workers obesity crisis.
In this blog post, we’ll detail some of the things you can do to alter your diet and habits in the workplace to eat a healthier diet at work.
Never skip breakfast
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and while you might believe this is just one of those throwaway sayings, it’s true. However, In the US, around 31 million people skip breakfast in the morning. In the UK, about 50% of Brits skip their morning meal according to research by Flahavan’s Irish Porridge Oats.
Many people don’t feel hungry first thing in the morning and that’s down to cortisol, a hormone secreted by your adrenal glands. It’s all because to the stress of waking up after seven to eight hours of sleep. By not eating breakfast, you and your body will feel increasingly stressed as it will start to break down muscle to replenish the energy it needs to function. In addition, you’ll be more likely to snack later in the day, eating those dreadful instant gratification foods!
Make sure you take time to eat breakfast to give yourself the energy to make your way through the day.
Make your own lunch or go somewhere healthy
Spend about ten minutes making yourself a nutritional lunch to take into work the following day. By preparing your lunch at home, you’ll be able to control portion size, as well as exactly what is going to go in your meal.
Choosing to prepare healthy foods instead of gorging on that delicious pasty will provide you with more energy to power your way through the afternoon slump.
If it’s too time-consuming to make lunch one evening, spend extra time finding somewhere that’s a healthy choice. Don’t gravitate to the same sandwich/wrap/pasta pot you always get, instead, try some of the independent food places that have sprung up offering healthy alternatives. If in doubt, always check ingredient and nutrition labels before you buy.
Bring your own healthy snacks
After you’ve navigated lunch, inevitably, you’ll hit that afternoon slump. It’s here you’re at your weakest, most stressed and lacking in energy.
Stop yourself from gorging on unhealthy treats by having your own supply in your drawers. There’s plenty of alternatives to crisps and chocolate, so trawl your local supermarket for supplies. Things like carrots, hummus, fruit, nuts, seeds and roasted chickpeas are always a good shout.
If you’re prepared, you could bring in your own snacks along with your lunch, saving you time and money at your local shop.
Drink plenty of water
OK, so this one isn’t strictly speaking eating – but drinking water at work is very important for your overall health. According to research by the Institute of Medicine, 75% of office workers in the US don’t drink their recommended daily amount of water per day.And the consequences are severe. Dehydration can cause tiredness, poor concentration and headaches and just generally, makes you very moody.
To keep yourself well hydrated, get a big reusable bottle and fill it up when you next go to the tap or drinks dispenser. If you don’t have a big bottle, just make it a regular habit to get up from your desk to grab a drink. Spruce up dull water by freezing ice cubes of juice and putting them into your water. Alternatively, try a slice of cucumber, lime or lemon to add some zest to your H20.
In total, you should be drinking around 2 litres of water a day, which is around eight average-sized glasses.
Sometimes, you’ve got to just say no!
If you’re trying to look after your health and fitness at work and find yourself suffering because of the deluge of sweet and sugary treats, exercise will power and just say no.
It’s easier said than done, especially if you have persistent colleagues that insist on you tuck into the baked goods, they’ve spent hours making. But any reasonable co-worker will understand that when you say no to their food, it isn’t anything personal, you’re simply trying to achieve your health and fitness goals.
Of course, one other tactic could be to bring in your own healthy snacks and treats to change the workplace culture.
Allow yourself the occasional treat
You know, if you spend too much time avoiding treats when you do end up caving, you’ll end up scoffing way more than you originally intended. It’s important to treat yourself every now and again.
Go on, you deserve it!
If you’ve got some tips to eat healthier at work, do share them with us via Twitter or LinkedIn.
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