6 Tips for Smarter Workday Eating
You’re already running late, clearly no time for breakfast at home. You plan to get oatmeal with your coffee in the drive thru, but how can you resist that maple bacon donut? You’ve crashed by mid-morning and gobble down your afternoon snack. Its 4pm and you chug a Monster, grab a snack from the vending machine and hope for the best…
We’ve all been there. As a busy working professional, I understand that there is simply not enough time in the day to do everything right. Yet prioritizing your food choices is going leave you less-stressed, healthier, happier and maybe even lighter too! Here are my 6 tips to take control of these common workday pitfalls:
- Prep Ahead of Time
Dedicate a few hours on the weekend to prep your meals for the week. This not only saves you time and money, but you can design meals that fit your individual needs such as low-sugar, low-carb, low-sodium or high-protein. In general, pick lean proteins and pair them with colorful veggies and complex carbohydrates help prevent a crash. Use spices and seasonings to keep meals fresh and flavorful.
- Don’t Skip Breakfast
Start your day with a balanced breakfast to jump start your metabolism and your brain. Many packaged cereals and granola have high amounts of sugar. Be careful. You’re better off having a slice of whole grain toast with nut butter and a piece of fruit to go. If you have more time, sautéed veggies with egg whites on an English muffin is a great choice. Don’t skimp on the protein – you don’t want to be growling within the hour.
- Cut the Sugary Drinks
The World Health Organization recommends that ideally, less than 5% of your daily calories should come from added sugars. A can of Coca-Cola has 39 grams of sugar which would be close to 8% of a 2,000 calorie diet. Yikes! These sugars trick your body into feeling hungry. Instead of soda or a flavored coffee aim for 64 oz of sugar-free fluids such as water, fruit-infused water, sparking water, unsweetened tea or coffee.
- Smart Snacking
Don’t just eat whatever is in front of you. Pack your drawer or cabinet with snacks that will keep you fueled and won’t bust your plan for the day. Some great options include: portioned nuts, high fiber fruits like apples or a low sugar protein bar. Great foods to keep in the frig include greek yogurt, cheese sticks, or carrots.
- Get Moving
People often eat when they are sleepy or bored. The crunch from pretzels may seem like a good game plan, but those calories are empty. Set an alarm and get up every 30-60 minutes at least. Get a slurp from the water fountain, do a yoga post in the middle of the office or go bug Dave down the hall instead of sending that email. It’s ok if you get some weird looks, ask them to join you – just move and do it often!
- Plan for Emergencies
There are going to times when you simply cannot prep. You have zero time to go get your healthy sticks and twigs from Whole Foods. Keep some smart frozen lunches on hand that are quick and portable to make lunch time at the office a success. (Keep an eye on sodium and additives.) Frozen meals won’t be perfect, but don’t beat yourself. You can get back to the twigs tomorrow.
Keep eating to feel satisfied and fueled! Good luck!
Dr. Chelsea Savage