5 Tips to Nourish Your Body at the Office

Creating positive change in our lives starts with little steps, from the home to the workplace. Get started on nourishing your body at the office with these five easy tips.

1. Drink Water Throughout the Day

It’s common knowledge that drinking water is good for you. It helps hydrate your body, regulate digestion, improve energy and prevent headaches and head fog. But did you know that drinking enough water actually helps regulate hunger and craving levels? The next time that you experience unquenchable hunger at work, ask yourself when the last time was that you had a glass of water. It may just be that your body is calling out to quench your thirst! One easy strategy is to keep a water bottle with you at your desk in plain sight. Try filling it with chopped lemon, lime or other fruit to add natural flavor.

2. Prioritize Protein in Your Meals and Snacks

High carbohydrate, low protein meals and snacks in the day can take our blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster ride of spikes and crashes. This trend can feed into a vicious cycle of carbohydrate cravings that will throw a wrench into your weight management goals. Moderate carbohydrate, high fibre meals that contain protein help halt that rollercoaster ride. Blood sugars and energy will stay more consistent. So how do we prioritize protein? Make sure you incorporate a good source of protein in your packed lunch (i.e. leftover chicken, turkey, salmon, steak, boiled eggs or marinated tofu etc.) and bring a protein-containing snack for that afternoon dip in energy (at around 2-3 PM) to help you power out the rest of your work day!

3. Create Space from Mental Cravings

Taking your mind off the box of donuts in the lunch room is easier said than done, but creating space in your mind away from the mental craving is possible. It just takes some mindful effort. Try focusing in on the Three D’s: Distract, Delay or Deliberate.

Distract yourself by going for a walk outside or up and down the stairs as your 15-minute break, for example.

You may create space from the craving by delaying yourself. Make the mental commitment to wait at least 2 minutes until you are allowed to take action on your craving. This gives our brain time to come out of the craving stupor and logically determine if this action is still a good idea.

The last way is to deliberate. Another mental exercise where you ask yourself, “Is this action in line with my goals?” or “Do I really need that donut today? Why do I feel I need it?”

4. Eat Something Every Two to Four Hours

Going too long without eating can lead to a change in the way that our brain processes information. Why? Because our blood sugar and energy levels drop when there is not enough fuel in the tank. If you have an extremely demanding workday, you can forget to make the time to fuel yourself. Set an alarm or write a note to remind yourself to eat your meal or snack and prevent that “hangry” (hungry and angry) state of mind from setting in. This will help you regulate your hunger levels and reduce the risk of overeating after you get home from work.

5. Keep Survival Snacks at Work

Survival snacks are simple snacks for you to have readily available at work. Survival snacks ensure that you are not caught in a place where you are starving because you have gone all day without eating. Here are some ideas:

  • ¼ cup of roasted black beans, chickpeas or edamame beans
  • ¼ cup of roasted almonds or mixed nuts + an apple or orange
  • 1 single-serve plain Greek yogurt (about ½ cup) + 1 unsweetened fruit sauce (mixed together)
  • ¼-1/2 cup of cottage cheese + strawberries
  • 85-gram can (mini can) of flavored tuna + crackers
  • Boiled egg + chopped veggies or a fruit on the side
  • 2 tbsp. of peanut/almond butter + banana or an apple
  • 1 Babybel cheese + pear
  • 1 baggy of mini veggies (i.e. snap peas, baby cucumber/tomatoes, carrots etc.) + 1 mini hummus container (~1/4 cup)
  • Protein bar with good ingredients (Biosteel protein bar, elevate me bar, simply protein bar,)—make sure that you can visualize the ingredients on the label before buying it