You know how difficult it can be to eat nutrient-packed, appealing lunches while at work. You might have limited time, inadequate storage for perishable foods, or few healthy restaurant options to choose from. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or you just want to eat healthier at lunchtime, here are some ways that you can achieve your goal during busy workdays.
If your stomach is growling and you have nothing planned for lunch, it’s tempting to hit the vending machine or run out to the nearest drive-thru. While this will satisfy your initial hunger pangs, filling up on salty, fatty fare can hinder you from having a productive, energetic afternoon. Do this often enough, and you’ll have trouble buttoning your pants!
Instead, make it a habit to think ahead. Put together a salad with some protein (hard boiled eggs, a scoop of tuna salad, or some cubed chicken breast) the night before, for example. My Hot Lunchbox offers the delivery of hot, healthy meals that can be ordered days, weeks or months in advance. Talk to your manager or supervisor about whether this type of service would be an option.
When you get your food, try not to swallow it down as quickly as possible. First, this is bad for your digestion. Secondly, you’re more likely to overeat if you are in a hurry, because it takes some time for your stomach to signal your brain that you are full. Chew your food well, putting down your utensils in between bites. Once you feel satisfied, stop eating, even if you haven’t finished everything.
One way that you can take the edge off of your hunger is to have a mid-morning and/or a mid-afternoon snack. Again, avoid the vending machine! Bring fresh fruit into the office; whole apples and oranges will be fine sitting at room temperature for a few days. You could also buy a box of healthy granola bars or make a trail mix out of mixed nuts, whole-grain breakfast cereal, dried fruit and maybe a handful of tiny chocolate pieces. String cheese or peanut butter crackers are more good, filling options.
Don’t forget to drink water throughout the day. Try to avoid soft drinks, as they add empty calories and sugar that you don’t need. Even diet sodas should be avoided, as they contain artificial sweeteners and are acidic. Try filling a large water bottle and keeping it at your desk or work area. If this is not allowed where you work, be sure to drink water each time you have a snack and when you eat lunch.
Even if you have busy workdays, it’s possible to eat healthy on the job. Talk to your coworkers to see if they would be interested in finding a solution together; having support and company as you strive to improve your eating habits at work can make a big difference. Also, consider asking one of the decision-makers at your company to consider offering My Hot Lunchbox as an option to employees.