To help you improve your workplace nutrition, Fruit at Work’s resident nutritionist, Stephanie Stephenson has provided her top 10 tips to help you reign in your workplace diet.
1. Homemade trumps store-bought
A homemade lunch is always preferable since you’ll know exactly what you’re putting in it. If your mornings are usually rushed, put five or six salad items in a bag to take to work. Add some protein in the form of a small can of tuna, a boiled egg or some chicken/lamb/beef from last night’s dinner. Take five minutes to chop up and make a healthy, high protein salad once in the office.
2. Protein is your friend
Avoid too much starch at lunchtime (pasta, rice, thick bread, noodles) as these foods can elevate your blood sugar initially, causing the mid-afternoon slump later on that sends you straight to the biscuit jar! Protein slows the release of sugar from your meal into the blood stream, helping to maintain an even blood sugar level which reduces cravings. Fewer cravings means you’ll be less tempted to choose a high sugar snack.
We know you’re busy in the morning, but bear in mind, people who don’t eat breakfast tend to choose unhealthy snacks for morning tea and/or overeat at lunchtime. If you’re in a rush, blend some protein powder with a banana and some skim milk and drink it on the bus! Or if you’re buying breakfast from your nearest café, a simple egg wrap with tomato is a good option or some wholegrain toast with a nut spread.
4. Get a good night’s sleep
Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s shut eye. If you’re skimping on sleep and feeling tired at work, you’ll keep reaching for food as a source of energy even though you may not actually be hungry.
5. Be prepared
If you know you’re likely to be staying back at work, don’t wait until 7pm when you’re starving to think about dinner. Once hunger strikes, you’re far more likely to grab the nearest high-fat delivery menu or order a pizza for convenience. Plan for a long day at work by ducking out in the afternoon to buy your dinner. Pop it in the fridge and you’ll be ready once your body is hankering for the evening meal.