A regular 9-to-5 desk job, sitting all day in an air-conditioned cabin, is what majorly constitutes an office for most of us. Office life can often get hectic, with no signs of stopping or slowing down. Work keeps piling up and the 40-hour workweek hardly seems enough. All this adds up to nothing but higher stress levels, unhealthy lifestyles and irregular eating habits. As such one tends to cash-in on unhealthy snacks that are available in tuck shops like chips, crackers, biscuits, and namkeens. The calories we consume are far more than the energy we expend, thereby making us pile on the kilos. In the canned space of the office environment, it is vital to binge on eatables that do not just keep us hydrated, but are low on calories and easy on the stomach. Wondering what these superfoods could be? We're here to share our trade secrets on how to eat healthily during office hours.
1. Cut The Junk
Junk food options like namkeens and chips are the ones that are stocked by most office spaces for their employees. While completely disallowing yourself to eat these may not be the solution, it is a good idea to keep a check on the amount you take in one go. Bingeing on junk is the unhealthiest habit possible, so be mindful of it. Limit your starch content intake in the form of pastas, rice and breads too.
2. Pack Home-Cooked Meals
This is the fool-proof way to make sure you cut down on junk; however much you want to. Getting home-cooked food to your office makes sure the food is healthy and fresh. The food cooked at home best satisfies your taste buds. You can customise it according to your own tastes and preferences. Chances of getting a case of food poisoning from badly-cooked food is severely reduced by eating home cooked food everyday. Freshly cooked food packed in a tiffin box keeps reminding you to finish it first before you go on to any other snacks or drinks. Home food in decent proportions is something which you can always binge-eat, without feeling conscious of overeating.(Also Read: Packed Lunch: The Highs and Lows of Eating Al Desko)
3. Stay Hydrated
The importance of drinking water at your work place cannot be overstated. A water bottle at your desk is an absolute must. Make sure you take several big sips before and after every meal, and keep drinking through the day as well. Water has no calories, and helps you stay energized and fresh throughout the day. This is vital especially for those working in air-conditioned offices, as their skin gets devoid of moisture, and thus needs to retain its hydration.
4. Cold Drinks Are Not the Best Refreshment
Some tend to consciously avoid junk food in an attempt to watch weight, but it is also important to avoid drinking caffeinated drinks, sodas, energy drinks, packaged juices and lattes. These drinks contain heavy amounts of sugar, which hampers your diet. Extra sugar and cream in your tea and coffee should be avoided. Opt for black coffee or green tea as a viable alternative to cut down on calories as well as boost your metabolism; or gorge on water, of course.
5. Keep Snacks at Your Desk
6. Healthy Eating Options
If you're still wondering what exactly you can binge-eat during office hours, we have a list of healthy options ready for you-
- Fresh coconut chunks, which are conveniently available in bite-sized packets in the local supermarket. They are high on fibre and rich in good fats
- Sweet potato crisps, with no additives or preservatives.
- Roasted chickpeas, which is low on calories and high on taste.
- Yogurt, is a great snacking option and has a variety of flavours to choose from. It fills up the stomach with good bacteria and stocks up high on calcium and magnesium.
- Dark chocolate, is rich in antioxidants and keeps you fresh and energized. Be careful not to eat too much. The kind of dark chocolate that has maximum benefits is the one with close to 98% cocoa content and least milk and sugar.
- Protein bars, are filling, richly layered, and available in several different kinds of flavours. They live up to their name and supply you with the energy-boosting Protein that keeps you going through the day.
- Mixed nuts, such as almonds which are high on magnesium; flax seeds which reduce drowsiness and contain Omega-3 fatty acids as well. Roast a variety of these nuts and keep them in a handy jar on your desktop.
- Fruits, including bananas, apples, oranges, peaches, grapes, and any other fruit which does not require peeling and cutting. A single serving of any fruit is a healthy snacking portion for one person. It is a filling snack and high on fiber and vitamins.
(Also Read: Top Four Foods to Stay Alert at Work)
7. How To Curb Cravings
Controlling your food cravings is vital for the workplace. The brain often sends hunger pangs based on food smells and sounds nearby. This ends up becoming a major deterrent to your healthy snacking intentions, as your cravings result in binge eating. What's more, if there is nothing available to satisfy your craving, you will end up relying on sugary foods that are high on carbohydrates and fats.(Also Read: This is Why We Give In To Our Food Cravings)
8. Check Portions
It is always a good idea to snack and satisfy your hunger pangs rather than intentionally deprive yourself of food. However, the key element here is not to go overboard with any snack you take. Be it simple mixed nuts, protein bars or even vegetables and fruits- it is essential to control the portions you eat. Excess of anything is too much for the body to handle. Over-snacking makes you lose your appetite for the proper meals of the day, and pile on unnecessary calories and weight.
Thus, healthy bingeing during the 40-hour workweek is not as much of a Herculean task as it seems. It is simply a combination of switching to the right diet and a little bit of self-control. So, get your office snacking habits right today!
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.