The average office — with its poor vending machine options, sparse pantry, and endless supply of leftover birthday cake — can be a difficult place to cultivate healthy habits around food. Even the most disciplined employees may occasionally reach for a bag of mini muffins in lieu of lunch.
Fortunately, you don’t have to work for a superfood company to take ownership of your health. With a bit of extra effort and nutrition savvy, you can learn how to nourish your body even when you’re stuck in a cubicle all day.
Here are four healthy eating tips that’ll help you stay productive, focused, and energized at the office.
1. Keep a fruit bowl on your desk
A well-stocked fruit bowl on your desk means you always have a healthy snack to reach for when hunger strikes. A study from the Journal of Health Education and Behavior suggests that you’re likely to eat whatever is most visible in your home — and the same goes for the office.
So don’t clutter your desk with candy bars or crumpled bags of chips; put your favorite seasonal fruits on display instead. Try apples for an extra serving of fiber, bananas for potassium, or pears for a dose of Vitamin C.
2. Stock your desk drawer with healthy breakfast ingredients
A nourishing breakfast doesn’t just fuel you for a long day of work, it also helps curb unnecessary snacking. Stock a desk drawer with a variety of easy, nutritious breakfast options for those days when you’re rushing out the door.
Things like microwavable rolled oats topped with nut butter, hemp seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, or cinnamon. Or, if savory breakfasts are more your style, keep a stash of whole-grain bread and avocados handy for toast packed with fiber and healthy fat.
3. Choose 'smart' snacks
If your office pantry is full of pastries and bags of pretzels, don’t stress — you can still snack smart if you come prepared. Look for snacks that provide both protein and fiber to help keep you fuller for longer.
Try sliced bell pepper with hummus, mixed nuts and string cheese, a hard-boiled egg, deli turkey with sliced tomatoes, or cottage cheese topped with raspberries.
For a healthy, no-prep snack, consider stocking up on your favorite FitJoy nutrition bars. Each bar is gluten-free, GMO-free, and loaded with about 20 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber.
4. Prep your lunches for the week
Instead of ordering takeout or cobbling together an unsatisfying meal from the contents of the office fridge, consider prepping your lunches ahead of time.
At the start of every week, buy ingredients for two or three healthy lunch recipes, then spend a couple hours in the kitchen chopping vegetables, grilling protein, or cooking grains.
For an energizing, balanced meal, aim to combine a source of protein (like grilled chicken, salmon, or edamame) with a generous serving of veggies and a complex carb (like sweet potato, quinoa, or brown rice).
I'm Paige, freelance health and lifestyle writer, editor, and perpetual optimist from Southern California. When I'm not crafting stories, I love to read, travel, and get sandy. Want to know more about me? Visit my site: paigeashleysmith.com.
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Paige is a freelance health and lifestyle writer, editor, and perpetual optimist from Southern California. When she's not crafting stories, she loves to read, travel, and get sandy. Want to know more about her? Visit her site: paigeashleysmith.com.