Have you ever heard of 'the office 15'? It's a term founded by nutritionists to represent the 45% of women who gain 15lbs in the first three months of starting a desk job. If you work in an office you may well be able to relate to the difficulty of resisting slipping a coin into the vending machine when we're sat at our desk bored or stressed, or maybe like many of us you find it hard to say no to colleagues passing around sugary treats every which way you turn.
Even though many of us would like to blame our bad diets on the fact we're sat staring at a screen all day, when we start to pile on the pounds we can't simply put our weight gain down to our working environment, there are things you can do to take responsibility of your own eating patterns and make sure your diet is healthy, controlled and balanced.
Top 5 changes to improve your desk diet
1. Drink responsibly
Even though you feel like caffeine or sugar may give you the energy boost you require, drinks that contain either are not worth the subsequent crash or the negative effect they can have on your health. If you're craving a hot drink have a hot water or green tea to keep you occupied and alert. If you're lagging whilst sat at your computer screen then take a trip to the water cooler for a mini break that encourages you to stay hydrated.
2. Take a packed lunch
Eating out doesn't just damage your bank balance, typical lunchtime options from shops and cafes are packed with hidden salt and sugar that you don't need to be consuming. Taking a packed lunch in with you may at first seem like a hassle, but if you plan properly you will soon realise how much better it is to know exactly what is going in to your lunch.
3. Plan your snacks
Usual office snacking includes crisps, sweets and biscuits and this can mainly be because they are easy products to keep in your desk or buy from a vending machine. If you plan to take in some healthy snacks instead such as broccoli and celery, these veggies are full of fibre meaning they are filling and you can use them to quickly swerve your unhealthy craving.
4. An orange a day
If you choose one piece of fruit to eat for the day make it an orange. Research has found that vitamin C can actually help lower the production of stress hormones.
5. Consider your input-output
Remember that the energy you eat should be the equivalent of the energy you exert, so if you're sat down all day do you really need to be eating meals full of carbohydrates which would reflect an output of a busy day walking around?
Could you be more active whilst at work?
It's no secret that a good diet combined with exercise promotes a healthy lifestyle, and even though each on their own will still make a big difference, you should try to take some steps (literally) to a healthier office routine. If you don't work too far from home ditch the car to bike or walk. If you do have a long commute leave earlier and park further away or get off a stop earlier, a morning walk will not only burn some calories, it will also wake you up. If you're used to taking the lift get used to taking the stairs. With every hour you are inactive, levels of blood sugar and the stress hormone cortisol rise which triggers cravings, so going for a quick stroll round the office could be a great way to keep hunger at bay.