They’re everywhere. Cupcakes, candy, doughnuts, coffeecake and chips winking their eyes at you and calling your name from every countertop. At home you can control your environment, but at the workplace it’s not so easy -- not to mention you always seem to come face to face with a big bowl of your favorite BBQ potato chips or chocolates just when you've worked through lunch or had a disappointing meeting. Healthy eating habits definitely require strong self-control and determination, but we've got a few suggestions that can make the journey even easier at your office.
Bring your lunch
One of the best ways to ward off falling prey to the cubicle diet is to bring your own lunch. It will be healthier (and less expensive!) than going out to lunch every day and you can feel confident about your choices because they came from your own kitchen. Choose nutritious options like fresh salads, hearty soups, tasty wraps and healthy sandwiches. Keep it interesting by trying new dishes so you don’t get bored. You can also freeze individual portions of dinner leftovers for an easy office reheat.
Check out Easy, healthy lunch ideas for work >>
Pack a snack
Keep a stash of healthy, non-perishable snacks like trail mix, protein bars, fruit leather and whole grain crackers in your desk. This way, when you feel tempted to make a vending machine run, you’ll always have a healthier option on hand. You can also bring fresh, yummy snacks along every day in your lunch. Veggie wedges and fresh salsa, fruit salad paired with Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and crackers or hummus and whole grain pita chips are a few fun ideas.
Check out these On the go snack essentials >>
Skip the soda
It’s just too easy to sneak over to the soda machine for a mid-afternoon caffeine boost. But sugar is very addictive and can easily derail you from your healthy diet. Instead of filling up on sugary drinks, fill a large bottle at home with brewed green tea or water infused with cucumber, melon or strawberries. These light, refreshing drinks will quench your thirst and keep you going steady all day long without the dramatic highs and lows of sugar consumption.
Don’t dine at your desk
When you are stuck at your desk all day, mindless munching can add up fast. Do yourself a favor and don’t dine at your desk. When lunchtime comes, take a break and have lunch with a friend. If the weather is pretty, eat a picnic lunch outside and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. In cold weather, even the cafeteria is a better option than desk dining. Or, if your dining options are limited, eat a quick lunch and take a power walk around the block. Getting a little exercise will boost your energy and keep you feeling fresh the rest of the afternoon.
Check out The office workout: Ways to stay fit at work >>
Just say no
Don’t be afraid to take a pass on birthday cake and other office treats. No one will fault you for wanting to stick to a healthy diet. In fact, there may be other people in your office who will be impressed by your healthy eating habits and find themselves inspired to adopt a healthier lifestyle. You might even consider talking to your boss about placing healthier snacks around the office. A big bowl of fresh fruit adds a lovely touch to any reception desk and is loads more nutritious than hard candy.