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Well at Work

4 Simple Ways to Eat Healthy at the Office

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Eating healthy at the office can be a challenge. Vending machines, takeout food, and an office culture of birthday cakes and cubicle candy jars can sabotage even the most disciplined eater. Since proper nutrition requires five to six meals or snacks a day, at least three will come during work hours.

By eating the right foods, you’ll not only stick to your program but also be more productive at work. Here are some strategies:

1. Stack your odds.

Don’t expect to eat well at the office if there aren't any healthy choices available, says Mark Verstegen, founder of Core Performance. “You’re putting yourself in position to fail,” he says. “Vending machine providers have a list of good choices they can sell. If you have enough sway around the office, make that happen.”

2. Stock your drawers.

Stock a drawer or two with oatmeal, tear-open packaged tuna fish, jerky, apples, oranges, and healthy snack bars. Include a jar of almonds, a loaf of whole wheat bread, condiments in one-serving packs, one-serving containers of sugar-free applesauce, plastic utensils, paper plates, and hand wipes.

If you have a mini-refrigerator in your office or cubicle, load up on bottled water, fresh veggie snacks, and fat-free yogurt with no sugar added. By having healthy options at arm’s reach, you don’t have to hunt for nourishment while hungry, where you’re likely to make poor choices. You’ll also have fuel to discretely consume during the inevitable marathon conference call. (Just be sure nobody can hear you!)

“Your ‘drawer’ doesn’t literally have to be in the office,” Verstegen says. “It could be a container you keep in the car or part of a diaper bag if you’re a busy parent. Whatever it is, it saves you from making bad nutritional choices or trying to get through an afternoon hungry.”

3. Drink early and often.

Athletes’ Performance vice president Craig Friedman starts each day with a gallon water jug at his desk. It’s his reminder to drink at least a gallon of water a day. With such a visible reminder, he makes it a point to drink early and often. It’s easy to lose track of how much water you’re drinking, or rather not drinking, over the course of a busy day. By keeping a water container of some sort on the desk, you’ll be constantly reminded.

4. Bring leftovers.

An easy way to save time and money is by making dinners that provide enough for leftovers. In the time it takes to clean up after dinner, you can take care of lunch the following day. “Always make enough for leftovers,” Verstegen says. “Make it grab-and-go. If you can bring that to the office, you’ll win every time.”

About The Author

Pete Williams – Pete Williams is a contributing writer for CorePerformance.com and the co-author of the Core Performance book series.

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Tags: Health, Snacks, Food, Work, Lunch