Whether your work is desk-based or out on the road, it can be incredibly tempting to seek out the closest chain sandwich shop when the clock strikes twelve. Whilst treats like these aren’t harmful in moderation, over-indulging in them can put a strain on your waistline, bank account and health, leading to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and, some forms of cancer.1, 2 Swapping sugary, salty, high fat foods for healthier alternatives at work can help improve energy and concentration levels, leading to more productive days.
Start the day as you mean to go on
Try and put time aside before your commute and make your first meal really count with a balanced breakfast. Starting the day with a healthy meal is a simple way to kick-start your metabolism and can encourage weight loss.3 Think scrambled egg cooked in extra-virgin olive oil with spinach and vegetables, or low-fat Greek yoghurt topped with fresh fruit and chopped nuts.
Grazing on the good stuff
Before you raid that biscuit tin mid-afternoon, take a moment to use the HALT method4 and ask yourself: Am I:
If your urge to snack stems from any feeling other than genuine hunger, try and shake the urge by drinking a glass of water, or taking a short stroll away from your working environment. Healthy eating at work isn’t always easy, particularly when colleagues bring in birthday treats (or treats just because it’s Friday). However, if your hunger pangs are justified, schedule some time at the weekend to put together tubs of pre-portioned, healthy snacks, like fresh/dried fruit, nuts, wholegrain crackers and cheese – give yourself the alternative and an excuse to skip the sugar.
Healthy lunch ideas for work
Midday meals may sometimes feel like a never-ending cycle of boring sandwiches and salads, especially if your kitchen facilities at work are limited. However, a little weekly preparation can save you from falling into the expensive and often unhealthy trap of convenience.
It all starts with the shopping list – you could even do your shopping online so there’s no temptation. Putting together a weekly menu for your evening meals encourages portion control and can lend itself nicely to healthy lunch ideas; whether that be using Sunday’s roast vegetables in pasta or a rice salad, or doubling up on meals, like bolognese or chilli, so you can adapt and reuse the next day. Check out our healthy lunch ideas for some inspiration.
Check out our healthy lunch ideas for some inspiration.
Become a salad connoisseur
We all know that salads can be a great way to keep the pounds at bay, but with the abundance of dressings and toppings that are often found when they’re bought pre-packed, it’s not always easy to figure out just how nutritious they actually are. Follow these basic steps5 for a deli-style homemade salad to keep your stomach full and your taste buds satisfied:
- 1. Build your salad’s foundation on vegetables or salad leaves: load your lunchbox with leafy greens, or courgette and carrots to create texture and crunch.
- 2. Pump up the protein: mix it up with grilled chicken, boiled eggs, kidney beans, or a light sprinkling of parmesan or feta cheese.
- 3. Add a sprinkling of nuts and seeds – these include healthy fats and protein that are great for maintaining a healthy heart and keep you feeling full for longer.
- 4. Top with whole grains like barley/bulgur wheat, and a couple of tablespoons of dressing – try out these healthy options and find your favourite.
Keep on track
Diet changes can often feel faddy; ensure yours leads to a true change in lifestyle by keeping tabs on your choices. Why not use a mobile app6 to log your daily calorie intake (so you can work out whether that biscuit or post-work pint is actually worth it), or keep a spreadsheet of your meal plans?