Living with food allergies forced me pay attention to everything I ate.
Working in an environment where there was a constant plethora of tasty treats was a huge challenge.
When you work in a fast pace workplace it is challenging to stay on any sort of food schedule, let alone any sort of diet. Stress typically makes us crave sweets and crunchy snacks, and the last time I checked, these are not the best food options.
I needed to find a strategy that would help me stay on track, avoid these temptations, and feel better about making healthier choices. Here are five ways you can clean up your diet at the office:
1) Bring your own lunch. Ordering from your local restaurants can become very expensive. Most restaurants do not include nutritional facts. If you are watching your diet it can be difficult to know how many calories you're taking in. Try to pack a lunch three days a week, you will notice a difference in your wallet as well as your waist size. Plus, you have the benefit of knowing exactly what is in your food.
2) Avoid vending machines. Unless the vending machine at the office has fruits, vegetables and whole grains this should be avoided at all costs. Vending machines are typically stocked with items loaded with sugar, fat and carbohydrates ranging up to 400 calories -- not to mention the sugar crash that ensues when you need your energy the most.
3) Choose healthy snacks. It can be difficult if you share a common work area where people bring treats for the entire office. If your co-workers are bringing cookies and donuts daily you can easily give in to temptation. It may be better for you to avoid this area and instead bring your own treats or bring alternative healthier snacks for everyone to share. Veggie platter anyone?
4) Creamer in your coffee or tea. Caffeine does make the time go faster at the office, but for some people, black coffee isn’t an option. The office can carry those delicious flavored coffee sweeteners that make your caffeine intake more enjoyable. You will get a sugar high for a few hours, but when it wears off, you are more susceptible to reaching for more sugar.
5) Health competition. Creating a health competition is a great way to change your environment at the office.
Ask your supervisor about creating a competition so that everyone in the office is involved in getting healthier. Not only is it a great way to create an in-house support team, it will lessen temptations in a major way.
Remember to set yourself up for success. You are in control of fighting temptations and avoiding unknown ingredients by taking control of what you are eating. Make better choices when you're at the office, bring your own food and you will notice it makes a difference. Who knows? You may inspire the people around you to make better choices.