With being in a full-time office job, I find it’s extremely hard to stick to a healthy, balanced diet unless I plan my meals, prep them the night before and log my food intake. However, alongside these tricks, there are plenty of other great ways to learn how to eat well when working in an office.
This post will take you through just a few of these, so you can be the happiest, healthiest version of yourself, even if you’re sat in an office all day.
1. Create A Meal Plan
The first and probably the most important point to note, is to create a meal plan. This doesn’t have to be really strict and it won’t always be something you write down and follow.
As you adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle, it’ll become natural to you to know what healthy meals you can create and when to eat them. So, over time you won’t be following a plan but instead going about your normal life.
However, when starting out, it’s important to fill in what you’ll eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, on a weekly basis for around 3-5 weeks. This way you will have 5 weekly meal plans that you can swap the days around to give yourself lots of variety whilst sticking to a routine.
2. Prepare Your Meals The Night Before
Once you know what food you’ll be eating, it’s important to prepare it in advance. Often people who work in full time jobs will find that their leisure time in the morning before work is very limited. Thus, it’s important that you spend a short portion of your evening making up tomorrow’s lunch. (And sometimes the day after tomorrow’s lunch too.)
Even if it’s not making your sandwiches, you can cut the chicken, your salad and make sure it’s set out on a plate in the fridge, ready to put together in the morning.
Another key tip I’ve picked up is to store your cereal or dry snacks like nuts, Skinny Popcorn and similar, at work. This will mean you don’t have as many food items to remember for the day and hence will reduce the chance of you going hungry if you forget them.
More often than not, when people forget their lunch or don’t spend time preparing it, they’ll take on the attitude “well, I don’t have anything to eat”, and indulge in the office biscuits or similar. Meal preparation is key to eradicating these thoughts.
Or A Big Weekend Cookery Session
If you find that cooking in the evenings is taking up too much time, cook at the weekend instead. I often stick a healthy chicken curry or chilli con carne in the slow cooker without having to tend to it all day and once it’s done, can box it up.
If I’m planning on eating it within the next few days, I’ll put it together with wholegrain rice or quinoa and pop it in the fridge. Alternatively, if I’m going to have it in the next week or so, I’ll put it in a box to freeze by itself. This is because I usually go for the cheap yet healthy microwave rice and quinoa so it cannot be frozen.
If you choose to do this too, get your meal out the day before and allow it time to defrost. When it comes to eating it, you can then instantly heat it up with the microwave rice and in a few moments you’ll have a super healthy, super tasty chicken curry and rice or similar that’s cost very little time to prepare and cook.
3. Invest In Healthy Grab-And-Go Snacks
When you’re in a full-time office job, you’ll want to bring your own snacks that are not only healthy but don’t take up lots of time to prepare or get. You’ll want to buy snacks that are readily available from your local supermarket or that can be made quickly and in a big batch.
Not only this, if you’re making your own snacks, you’ll want to make sure you can freeze them or choose an alternative method of storage that will ensure they last.
Tip: I often make my healthy and filling, vegan cranberry and almond cookies in bulk and then freeze them and gradually eat them throughout the month.
4. Drink Lots of Water
I never really believed drinking would fill you up. “But it’s just water.” However, since drinking 6-8 cups of water at my desk alone, I am beginning to understand that water is an empty and full of “nothingness” that I used to.
Instead of snacking, I try and drink a glass of water instead and it actually stops me from reaching for my snacks. Although these tend to be fruit or healthy, “skinny snacks”, when you’re sitting down at a desk all day, you really don’t need a lot of calories.
Plus, water has lots of other benefits like clearing your skin, flushing out toxins and more so it really is a win-win habit to pick up.
5. Limit Your Alcohol Intake
You’re probably thinking, “alcohol at work?!” but how many times have you gone for a drink after work or when having an informal business meeting? For most of us, it’s more often than we think. Limit the number of alcoholic drinks you have during work hours – and outside of work too!
It will not only help to avoid the extra calorie intake from the drinks themselves but will also reduce the chance of having a takeaway or pub grub to sober up. You’ll also feel less groggy and more proactive to prep your meals for the next day and stick to a healthy diet.
6. Choose Quality Products
Sometimes quality foods can mean greater expense. If you’re finding that’s the case you’ll need to compromise. Instead of buying those processed chocolate bars and other sugary snacks, exchange them for a bag of frozen veg, fruit or similar.
You can use these to make smoothies and fill out your plate with more of your 5 a day for the same cost as 3 big bags of crisps. Although you might not feel like you’re getting as much produce, you’ll be doing your body a favour.
Plus, if you adopt the “drink more water” habit, you won’t need to fill your tummy with sugary snacks anyway as you’ll already feel full.
Hopefully from reading this post you’ll have some new tips to take on board when trying to eat well whilst working in an office.
When changing your diet it’s important to remember why you’re doing it, perhaps to lose weight or just improve your overall health and to understand what you’re putting in your body and why. This will help you select foods that will not only add the required nutrients to your body but will also be suited to your taste buds.
This post was kindly written by Katie Rose, Lifestyle Blogger at ok Kate
I’m Kate, a Digital Marketer by day and lifestyle blogger by night. ok Kate is my blog about me figuring my life out, featuring posts on beauty, food, fashion and travel. If you’d like to follow me on Instagram, I’d be sure to return the favour.