When workplace politics, geriatrically slow computers and pen-stealing colleagues abound, the office is stressful enough without worrying about your waistline. Avoid office-induced obesity with these quick tips for healthy eating at work…
SAY NO TO:
Eating al desko
I believe a meal is best enjoyed outside, with friends and wine. Unless you are a high-functioning alcoholic none of the aforementioned is likely to occur when dining al desko. I regularly convince myself I am too stacked to step out of the office come one o’clock yet strangely I still find time to languish on Facebook or cry into my sandwich over bikini photos of Miranda Kerr.
Eating while online simply distracts you from the amount of food you consume. When work is manic it is easy to feel guilty for leaving the office but changing your lunch location by heading to the park or meeting a friend allows you to properly appreciate your meal and refreshes you for a productive afternoon.
The feeder friend
I’ve been on both sides of this abusive relationship and trust me: no good can come from the office feeder. It may seem borderline rude to refuse Janine’s lovingly made meringues but communal snacks are a sure-fire way to unknowingly exceed your recommended calorie intake. Don’t deny yourself the occasional sweet treat but take care to never eat while standing up.
Too often have I absent-mindedly eaten a bakery’s worth of brownie bites while waiting for the kettle to boil. If you yourself are the bringer of biscuits, why not opt for a punnet of strawberries next time? Your co-workers will thank you for it.
SAY YES TO:
If bringing food from home reminds you of school days forlornly tearing at a meagrely spread peanut butter sandwich while the popular kids feasted on apple pie and suspicious custard then worry not – times have changed. Packed lunches are cool (especially if they come in a Super Mario lunch box). My vegetable chillis and Hummus Surprise* are the envy of my Pret-going colleagues.
Devote an hour on Sunday to cooking a large stew or soup and you have a week of healthy, purse-friendly meals. If you want to share your Michelin star cooking skills with a work friend, alternating lunch-making duties for each other is an easy way to enjoy healthy home cooking without tiring of the menu.
Quality over quantity
We’ve all done it. We’re busy, famished. The cornershop is so darn close and for just £1.19 you can pick up a packet of Hobnobs. Eat them all at once? Of course not. And yet, 5.30 winds around and suddenly the biscuits, along with your dignity, are gone. It may cost a little more but opting for that skewer of Godiva chocolate-drizzled strawberries or walking that extra street to buy a low fat frozen yoghurt will be infinitely more satisfying to your taste buds – and kinder to your tummy – than the nearest vending machine sugar hit.
Getting active outdoors
I used to daydream that I would become a city superwoman who spends her lunch at a spin class feeling smug. Realistically, though, a 45-minute gym session is a challenge to cram in without even considering the shower afterwards. However, staying active during the work day is still achievable.
Try 30 minutes’ rollerblading in the park; a quick cycle or even just a stroll around the nearby shops and galleries. It may not burn hundreds of calories but these activities will save you from boredom bingeing and offer a fun distraction from work that doesn’t revolve around food.
NB. Please note the author of this piece ate a Creme Egg and stale bread for her last office lunch. All advice should be taken with caution and a pinch of your recommended daily intake of salt.
*Essentially, I add peas.
Image by ashkyd courtesy of Flickr