Hey all! Have you had a chance to check out my tips for fitting in fitness for busy professionals? Well, given our recent nutrition lesson and I thought I would turn our focus from working out and the office to eating at the office. So many of us have good diet intentions and then we get to the office only to find cakes, cookies, and unhealthy lunch options. It is so much harder to stay on the path to health if most of the week we are constantly faced with unhealthy options. Here are a few tips for staying on track with your healthy goals while climbing that corporate ladder!
It’s a Mind Set
The unhealthy options are never going to go away, instead you have to change how you think about them. Yes, it is tempting when someone bakes cookies over the weekend and leaves them in the kitchen or a client sends a thank you gift basket, but you can resist! I look at it this way- I could indulge in the pastries that everyone in the office is enjoying or I could save up my unhealthy choices so when the weekend rolls around, I can indulge guilt free. Sure the pizza brought in for lunch looks appetizing but I would remind myself that I would just take a piece back to my office, eat it and in ten minutes it would be gone. How much would I rather enjoy a pizza with the hubs on Friday night with some wine and a movie? Doesn’t that sound so much better? I try to treat indulgent eating like the good people of the Mediterranean do, it’s an experience to be enjoyed- not something to be scarfed down in your office between emails.
As the Girl Scout motto goes “always be prepared!” That means planning out healthy meals ahead of time and ensuring you always have healthy options on hand. I know when you are working long hours the thought of pre-preparing meals is daunting but all you really need to do is stock up on easy options.
– Buy a box of single-serve, microwave oatmeal packets to keep in your desk or a box of high fiber cereal and keep some milk in the fridge.
– Stock up on fruit and keep it in a fruit bowl at your house so you can just grab a piece on your way out the door in the morning.
-Nuts are your best friend- stock up on unsalted varieties and keep them in your desk. They are great for snacks or adding protein to your oatmeal or cereal.
– Pick easy grocery options- yogurt, string cheese, single-serve baby carrot bags are all healthy and easy grocery options. I often find that products marketed as healthy options for kids (like the baby carrot bags) can be good for you too because they are usually in small proportions, easy and healthy.
-Take the guesswork out by joining up for a healthy delivery service like NatureBox.
If you have a lot of easy options on hand, eating healthy will be a no brainer.
Know Your Options
Often when working late, the team would order dinner from some takeout place. A paralegal would make the rounds asking everyone what they wanted to order from said takeout place. Rather than succumb to the pressure of “eating with the team”, I politely declined and then either a) proceeded to order my own food; or b) whipped out my pre-purchased dinner. The key to either of these options was to have a plan in place and to know your options! I had a few approved healthy takeout options where I could get a salad or some fish. The key is to research these places and scout out the best healthy options for your diet.
Alternatively, I would order these prepared meals from FreshDirect. They were under 500 calories an tasted pretty good. If I knew I was going to have to work through dinner, I would throw one into my bag in the morning and pop it in the fridge at work until I could heat it up at dinner time.
Of course a lot of people see “eating with the team” as another way to bolster their career and create connections. In my case, everyone just ate at their desks so whether we ordered from the same place or not, it really didn’t matter. But if people tend to eat together at your office then by all means, join them! Just don’t be afraid to bring your own healthier entree with you. After awhile you will probably develop a reputation as someone who eats healthy and people will get used to seeing you with a salad while they eat burritos. And you may even find that others may want to join in on your healthy habits!
I hope you find these tips helpful! Remember, the key word in healthy living is living-it’s a lifestyle and so you need to find ways to incorporate it into your everyday life and make it work for you! Enjoy your Tuesday! 🙂