It is no secret that Americans tend to consume high-energy, nutrient-poor meals. On the flipside, most people know that engaging in positive behaviors such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep are all parts of a healthy lifestyle. However, executing these behaviors may be a challenge, especially for working adults with other obligations like children!
That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks for you so you can work toward reaching your health goals without feeling overwhelmed. Remember, start with one goal or change, and slowly incorporate more habit changes as time goes on. Slow and steady wins the race, and we strive for progress over perfection.
Workday Healthy Eating Tips:
1. Keep meal ideas simple:
We mentioned this one last month, and it is still so relevant! Creating simple, filling meals can provide many nutrients without complicated recipes and ingredients. Follow this simple plan to make delicious and nutritious plates: half a plate of fruits and vegetables, a quarter of whole grains, and the remaining quarter with protein!
Make sure to include some healthy fats and dairy as well, like our example below:
– Fruits: Handful of blueberries & raspberries
– Vegetables: Salad made of chopped lettuce, tomatoes, olives, green peppers, red onions, cucumbers
– Protein: Grilled or baked chicken breast; grilled or baked salmon; chickpeas
– Whole grains: Cooked quinoa or whole-wheat orzo pasta
– Fats: Olive oil & balsamic vinegar dressing; sliced avocado; feta cheese
– Dairy: Feta cheese; Greek yogurt
2. Make a plan:
Again, we said it last month… but we’re including it here too! Plan your meals before the week starts to avoid dinnertime scrambling and thrown-together lunches. Taking some time to plan your meals, grocery shop, and prep ingredients for the week can save you time, money, and stress!
3. Research your favorite recipes:
Do you have a favorite lunch spot next to the office that makes the best sandwich and salad combo? Research “copycat” recipes online so you can recreate your favorite lunchtime meals while staying on budget. The best part? You can make the recipe at any time, with any changes you’d like without the upcharges!
4. Avoid high amounts of caffeine:
Many adults reach for steaming cups of coffee throughout the day to boost their energy levels. However, drinking more than two cups of coffee daily can impact your digestive system, ability to sleep at night, and even cause headaches and anxiety!
5. Remember to eat:
Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in meetings, emails, and other tasks at work, causing you to forget to eat. This can lead to brain fog and low energy levels that make finishing the workday more difficult. Schedule times to take breaks and eat snacks and lunch. This way, you have time dedicated to eating and you’re less likely to forget!
6. Focus on eating:
It may be tempting to consistently eat and work at the same time, but taking a break to focus on your meal make help your productivity in the latter half of the day. Taking the time to shift your focus may help you enjoy your meal more as well as help you pay more attention to your hunger, fullness, and satiety cues.
7. Smart snacking:
Curb mid-morning or mid-afternoon hunger by having easy, filling snacks on hand. A combination of complex carbohydrates and protein will help you stay satisfied until your next meal.
Try these examples:
– Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and one serving of unsalted nuts
– Apple slices with one serving of nut butter
– Reduced fat cheese stick with one serving of whole grain crackers
– Individual hummus cup with fresh veggies and whole grain crackers
Hydration is important at every age! Keep a water bottle or glass nearby at all times to encourage adequate water intake. Beverages like soda, energy drinks, and sugary fruit juices should be enjoyed in moderation.