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The Perfect Day of Eating at the Office

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For many people, working nine to five is a thing of the past. In fact, a 2012 report on workplace culture found that 54 percent of women work nine or more hours a day. That means eating more meals at the office, which can be challenging and unhealthy if you don't plan for it. Check out the sample day of eating below for ideas on how to pack healthier, more nutritious meals to power through your day.

Breakfast

Toast one whole wheat English muffin and top it with four egg whites and a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. Pair it with a piece of fruit, such as an orange or apple, to balance your meal.

The benefits: Eating a nutrient-rich combination of carbs and protein within an hour of waking up kickstarts your metabolism and helps prevent overeating later in the day. This combo offers a filling breakfast loaded with protein and healthy carbs.

Nutrition facts: 438 calories, 48 g of carbs, 38 g of protein, and 10 g of fat

More ideas: 6 Protein-Packed Breakfasts to Kickstart Your Day

Mid-Morning Snack

Top 6 oz of Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries and mix in 2 tsp of ground flaxseed.

The benefits: Two to three hours after breakfast is the ideal time for a mid-morning snack to keep your metabolism running. Packed with fiber-rich carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats, this meal keeps your blood sugar levels steady to help you avoid the mid-morning slump.

Nutrition facts: 194 calories, 28 g of carbs, 16 g of protein, and 2 g of fat

More ideas: 10 Energy-Boosting Snacks for the Office

Lunch

Stuff a whole wheat pita with 3 oz of lean roast beef, 1/4 cup of spinach, 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes, 2 onion slices, 1 oz of provolone cheese, and 2 tbsp of mustard. Add a medium apple and a Kashi bar to finish out your meal.

The benefits: Bringing your own lunch gives you more control over what you're eating, helps you avoid grabbing unhealthy meals out, and aids in weight control. The combo above offers a healthy blend of carbs, protein, and fat to keep you full. A healthy lunch will energize your body for a productive afternoon.

Nutrition facts: 593 calories, 88 g of carbs, 39 g of protein, and 13 g of fat (eliminate the granola bar and eat only half the pita to drop this meal below 500 calories)

Mid-Afternoon Snack

Grab a quick snack with 1 cup of blackberries and 11 medium almonds. Don't like almonds? Swap them for walnuts or sunflower seeds.

The benefits: Eating a mid-afternoon snack two to three hours after lunch helps fight the afternoon energy slump. A combo of blueberries, packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, and almonds, a great source of healthy fat, protein, and fiber, will fill you up.

Nutrition facts: 160 calories, 23 g of carbs, 4 g of protein, and 8 g of fat

More ideas: Sidestep Your Afternoon Snack Break

Dinner

Whip up a healthy dinner with 4 oz of salmon, 1/2 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of steamed asparagus topped with 2 tsp of olive oil, and a small baked yam.

The benefits: Salmon is packed with disease-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, while asparagus, yams, and rice increase the fiber content of the meal helping you feel fuller longer and promoting weight loss. Even better, the colorful asparagus and yams add an immune-boosting punch of folate and carotenoids.

Nutrition facts: 519 calories, 72 g of carbs, 35 g of protein, and 18 g of fat

More ideas: 10 Healthy 15-Minute Meals

Key tips to remember: 

  • Plan your meals in advance.
  • Eat every 2.5 to 3 hours to keep your energy consistent.
  • Stock your office with healthy snacks.
  • Balance carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats at each meal.

Tags: Snacks, Food, Work, Lunch, Dinner, Cooking, Breakfast

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