Are you too busy to think about what you’re eating while at work? Do you grab something on the go and eat at your desk while plugging away on the computer? Or do you live on caffeine and snack food through your workday? These and other poor eating habits at work are bad for both your health and your productivity, and they can even impair your decision-making. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the nutrition you need to power through your workday:
Don’t eat at your desk. Eating at your desk is a recipe for nutritional disaster. If you eat while you work, you’re unlikely to pay much attention to what you’re consuming, leading to overeating. What’s more, numerous scientific studies have concluded that too much sitting increases mortality risk, so take lunch as an excuse to get up and walk around a bit.
Make food at home. Making your work meals at home is probably the best way to ensure that what you eat is healthy and appropriately proportioned. Bring in a salad and chicken, or consider making more than you need for dinner and packing the leftovers for your lunch. In a pinch, you can even bring in frozen microwaveable dinners. If you don’t have access to a refrigerator at work, bring your meals in an insulated bag with a freezer pack to keep food fresh.
Snack wisely. If your workplace is like most, there’s a vending machine full of unhealthy snacks that’s all too accessible. Replace junk food with raw vegetables and fruit from home. If you’re like most Americans, you’re not eating enough of these anyway.
Don’t skip breakfast. While calling breakfast “the most important meal of the day” may be an exaggeration, you definitely want to fuel up before beginning your day. According to the Mayo Clinic, a nutritious breakfast can help control weight and improve work performance. The clinic recommends plenty of whole grains, lean protein such as eggs, low-fat dairy, and fruits and vegetables.
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