10 Tips to Eat Healthier at the Office!

Monday, November 7, 2016

So someone brought donuts to the office this morning? Or there is a birthday party, so...cake - obviously.

I guess I'll consider myself lucky these days because I work mostly alone or from home. There isn't much temptation at work because I bring the food. I do, however, remember the days of having feasts in the stock room on Black Friday when I worked in the mall (like we really needed that italian hero at 10:30am) or Saturday afternoons in the real estate office which were full of cheese and champs.

So while I don't have to face that anymore, I do completely sympathize with those of you tempted by food in the 9-5 hours. Here are my best tips for getting you through the work day.

1. This is super basic but DON'T SKIP BREAKFAST! If you don't want to be tempted by pink frosted donuts at the office, have a healthy breakfast. Seriously, you know the drill...most important meal of the day. If you're on the run in the morning I highly suggest overnight oats, a smoothie, or a frozen breakfast sammy (I found some bomb recipes for all of these on pinterest). Personally, I drink a vegan chocolate shakeology everyday with spinach, banana, almond milk and ice - nutritious, delicious and filling.

2. Make time for your lunch. If you're like me, you love FOOD. You look forward to eating lunch. It's kind of a highlight of my day. So I make sure to take some time to actually enjoy it. Mindless eating is often the cause of my OVEReating so by stepping away from my work space and actually taking the time to eat, I'm less likely to get the munchies in the afternoon. Love your food.

3. Drink lots of water. Yeah I know, you're saying "DUHHHH" right now but I take full advantage of the water cooler and it helps me in a few ways. I stay hydrated AF and I don't just eat when I'm thirsty. I've also heard that all the good gossip goes down at the water cooler but at my office it's just me talking to myself soooo yeah, anyway bring a big cup or water bottle to work and fill. that. shit. up. many times a day. You already know the benefits of hydration and all that good stuff so I'll end this tip here.

4. Bring leftovers for lunch. It's sooo much easier for me to bring my night-before dinner leftovers for lunches. It's one less meal to plan. I know it's healthy because I made it and it's usually pretty delicious. I'm also a huge hater of wasting food so I'd rather eat something two days in a row than splurge. Plus, when you bring your own lunch, you have more time to enjoy your break and less time to wait in line looking for food. Saves money too, just sayin'

5. Let people know your intention. A friend told me that she has a co-worker that gives her a candy bar everyday at work. She told him she wanted to eat healthier and he still brought a damn candy bar everyday...so maybe this tip doesn't always work BUT you have to let people know what's up because if someone handed me chocolate at around 2pm everyday, I would eat it. If you let your co-workers know that you have a goal that you are working on, hopefully they would be supportive and bring you carrot sticks or something instead.

6. Get a healthy eating buddy! You know how I feel about accountability. It's the shit. It's soooo necessary for situations like this because IMO if you have a buddy eating a kale salad with you at lunch, you won't be so tempted by everyone else eating burgers and fries. I've also found that others will be inspired by your healthy eating squad and want to join along.

7. PLAN a cheat day at work. When I worked in retail (and was broke!), we would always go all out on pay day. Instead of hitting the dollar menu at the food court, we would ball out and order something delicious from a REAL restaurant. If you bring a boring, left over, lunch everyday for two weeks, it is EXCITING to go out for a salad every other Friday each month. It's fun and gives you one day of living it up - order something fairly healthy and watch your portions (you CAN always take half home for dinner).

8. Ditch the junk, stock up on healthy snacks. The time of day where I reach for junk is around 2-3pm so every week, I bring in some healthy snacks to keep on hand at the office. My go-to snacks are apples, berries, celery, carrots PB or Hummus, nuts, pretzels, etc. What I don't keep around anymore is candy, cookies, and other sweets. They taste sooo damn good in the afternoon but they're not helping me reach any sort of goals. If I don't have healthy snacks nearby then I end up making a run to a convenience store and I've never made a good decision there when it comes to snacks.

9. Cut the coffee. A lot of people drink TONS of coffee at work and I'm guilty of some caffeine consumption but I'm very mindful of it. I'm not saying don't have coffee but if you find yourself filling it with creams and sugars then try to cut back. Switch to good old H2O.

10. Don't beat yourself up if you have a piece of birthday cake. This is HUGE. Let's say it's Karen's birthday at work and everyone is singing her HBD and having a big, fat, butter cream covered slice of cake. You can't say no. You eat the cake. IT'S OK! Don't tell yourself that the rest of the day is automatically a food free for all. Get back on track for the rest of the day and be happy that birthday's aren't everyday!

How do YOU get through the work day and what is your biggest struggle with office eating?

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