How Can a Person Start to Eat Healthy at Work in a Fast-Paced Environment?

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Answered by: Jamie, An Expert in the Nutrition - General Category
It is often a challenge for those who are newly interested in adopting a healthy lifestyle to maintain the habits learned in the workplace. Why? Well, for starters, not everyone will have the same nutrition goals as you do, if they pay attention to their nutritional intake at all. There are likely scores of coworkers dining out many (if not most) days of the week, several of whom tend to frequent fast food restaurants.

While eating fast food from time to time will not derail your efforts, you may be one of the only staff members to be health-conscious, at least on a regular basis. Fear not, nutritionistas! There are many ways to stay on track and give your body what it needs while also maintaining social relationships with the people around you. We've answered the "why," so now it's on to the "how."

There are many ways to adapt your eating habits to the work environment. Here are some suggestions:

1. Brown bag it. It is easier to follow a healthy regimen if you've got food on hand that you know you will not only like but that will fit into your daily nutritional goals, making it much easier to eat healthy at work.

2. Eat breakfast. Every day. This amps up your metabolism at the start of your day, setting you up for a good burn for the rest of it. Those who don't eat breakfast are much more likely to overeat throughout the day. It is also important to point out that eating protein will stave off hunger, so instead of munching on a plain slice of bread, add peanut butter. Then you will be getting in a serving of grains, protein and fat. While it is, of course, very important to have a balanced breakfast, even having a protein bar until you get to work is better than skipping a meal altogether.

3. Pack individual servings for snacks. Whole grain crackers, fruit and nuts can all easily fit into your day and are small enough to conveniently carry with you anywhere. Plastic single-serving bags, mini Tupperware containers and small insulated lunch bags will all work well.

4. Snack often. Eating every few hours, even if it is something small, will keep your blood sugar balanced and your metabolism going. Not eating for at least 7 hours will slow down your metabolism drastically, so snack, snack, snack! Many people find it helpful to eat 5 smaller meals a day than 3 larger ones.

This is, of course, only a small sampling of things you can do when your aim is to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the office. Try following one or more this week and see how much healthier and more energetic you feel. It only takes 30 days of doing something in order for it to become a habit so, much like starting a regular exercise routine, if you can hang in there it will get easier and easier over time. Stick with it!

As you can see, it doesn't have to take as much effort as you might think when you want to eat healthy at work. Follow the tips above and you should be on your way to Healthy Town in no time. Not too painful, right?

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