Being active and energetic throughout the day while in an office can be challenging, especially if you are restrained to the computer most of your day. Our sedentary lifestyle also greatly impacts our mental and physical health, and our bad eating habits contribute in worsening our overall levels of energy.
It’s not uncommon to see employees in the office too busy to stop for a healthy meal, so instead they buy something quick like junk food. Not only is that very unhealthy, but it also unfavorable to productivity. Instead, a healthy eating routine in the office should ideally have these characteristics to promote better work results and overall health.
- Eat foods high in nutrition with a balance of vitamins, minerals and proteins. This simply means more fruits, vegetables, and lean meat cooked in a healthy way like grilled, seared, or baked. These foods not only get metabolized easily, but when broken down they release more energy due to the diverse nutrients that they have, compared to a cheeseburger or pizza. Nuts like peanuts, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios are great to snack on throughout the day along with berries, natural granola bars, and baked vegetable chips.
- Eat smaller portions. Eating smaller portions of food is the way to keep your body’s entire energy from being dedicated towards digesting a big meal and causing you to feel sleepy and lethargic. To stay awake throughout the day, workers can snack on fruit and yogurt before lunch. Then for lunch, a small portion of meat can be combined with a side of vegetables and some simple carbohydrates like whole grains or brown rice to curb hunger and provide energy. Chia and flax seeds can be added on top of both sweet and savory snacks to make your meal packed with a lot of power.
- Put a limit on caffeine consumption. Drinking multiple cups of coffee at work might sound like a good idea, but it’s actually not. Not only does too much coffee lead to high blood pressure, it could also lead to reduced efficiency according to Mayo Clinic, due to irritability, jumpiness and a faster heart rate. Instead of having three to four cups of coffee a day, employees can replace their second or third cups with different types of teas. Each kind of tea has its own benefit and they can all be had at different times according to needs. They all come with different effects like refreshing, calming, and alerting.
- Eat slow and mindfully. It’s common for employees to eat their lunch in a hurry on the go, or while at their desk working. Eating fast is detrimental to the stomach, as food that is eaten fast is not chewed properly, which puts an extra burden on the stomach to break it down. While eating, it’s better to slow down and eat carefully while chewing each bite into digestible pieces.
- Hydrate the body. One of the things that people often forget while being in the office is drinking water. A dehydrated body cannot function optimally since all of our organs, including the brain, need water. A lack of hydration leads to slower cognitive function, lower levels of alertness and concentration, and shorter memory. According to the Journal of Nutrition, even mild dehydration impacts a person’s ability to think clearly and brings down their mood.
- Avoid excess sugars and salts. Foods with high content of sugar and glucose may give you a sudden energy boost, but it’s very short-lived. Once that food has been digested, your spiked blood sugar levels will drop making you sleepy and groggy, thus impairing your creativity and cognitive abilities.