Improve your mood and productivity at work with this guide to healthy eating.
Why Is Healthy Eating Important at Work?
Food consumption impacts our mood, energy, stamina, cognitive thinking abilities and morale, highlighting the extreme importance of healthy eating at both home and work. On average, people living in urban areas experience between one and two hours of commute time every day. This, coupled with nine-hour days at the office, results in a person having to split their time, mental capacity and physical energy between cooking, cleaning, household management and living a quality life with their family. These lifestyles unfortunately cost people their health and well-being, which shouldn’t be the case.
Eating healthy in the workplace is a great place to start when aiming to regain control over lifestyles, health and well-being. A nourishing and well-balanced meal aids maintaining energy over the day. Healthy eating can also help improve performance and productivity in the workplace, which in turn can increase overall leisure time and make offices far more enjoyable.
Benefits of Healthy Eating At Work
Poor nutrition impacts more than just health, also affecting performance at work due to effects on concentration and energy levels, as well as causing irritability, impatience and frustration. It highlights the importance of good and balanced nutrition whilst at work, which can provide you with wide-ranging benefits.
- Cognitive Function
- Immune System
- Energy Levels
- Mental Health
- Chances of Lifestyle Related Diseases (e.g. Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease)
Through adoption of the tactics outlined below, you will not only improve your performance at the workplace, but positively impact your overall health and well-being.
Tips For Eating Healthy At Work
Outlined below are some strategies you may want to implement to assist you in eating healthy at work:
Educate Yourself On Healthy Alternatives
First and foremost, learning about the nutritional value and impact of foods and drinks is crucial. A majority of people understand what is healthy and what isn’t, but nutrition is far more complex than just ‘good’ and ‘bad.’ There are also plenty of myths regarding various foods and drinks, such as sushi containing hardly any sugar.
Through education, you can make small, easy changes which are highly beneficial in creating a healthier dietary intake, and in turn a more favourable performance at work. A simple example of this is swapping a jam on toast breakfast for eggs on toast. Eggs are high in protein, zinc, iron, vitamin D and brain-boosting chemical choline, while containing significantly less sugar than jam.
Eat A Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast is widely considered to be the most important meal of the day, and it is crucial to take the time to eat breakfast before beginning work. If you are someone who is time-pressed in the mornings, consider preparing something the night before that you can easily take with you. Simple meals, such as wholegrain toast with peanut butter or yoghurt with fresh fruit, are both great options to start your day.
Remember To Hydrate
Staying hydrated in the workplace is critical to performance, as dehydration can lead to poor productivity, reduced cognitive abilities, slower reaction times and lower morale. Rehydrating with water, opposed to sugary and caffeinated drinks is important too as the latter can have adverse effects like hyperglycaemia, sleep disruption and further dehydration.
Consuming alcohol and excessive caffeine leads to further dehydration, which is detrimental to performance. Energy drinks (including those containing taurine) have been banned in some workplaces due to their lack of nutritional value and harmful health effects.
Workplaces need to walk a fine line when it comes to after-work drinking. While it positively impacts team building and culture, excessive drinking disrupts sleep and dehydrates the body, leading to negatively impacted performance the following day.
Leave Your Desk To Eat
Whilst many employees eat their lunch from their desks, it is beneficial to get in the habit of taking a break and finding a spot to enjoy your food. By reducing the amount of distractions in your surroundings, you are more likely to notice the internal appetite cues from your body, which greatly reduces the likelihood of overeating. Taking a lunch break also helps you reset, which can positively impact on productivity and creativity.
Build A Routine
By developing a routine and planning ahead, you can be prepared with choices of healthy meals. Purchasing healthy snacks like vegetables, nuts and seeds aids in reducing the likelihood of buying an unhealthy snack from the vending machine. A tip to consider here: get in the habit of making healthy food decision before you get hungry.
Pack Yourself Lunch From Home
Selecting appropriate lunch choices aids in sustaining energy throughout the day. Most people should choose a balanced lunch consisting of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and other nutrients. It is beneficial to avoid high-carb lunch options, such as cereal or pasta, which will provide you with an immediate energy boost, however the boost is followed by fatigue which affects your focus and motivation.
Adding various fruits and vegetables to your daily lunch is highly beneficial, and in some cases fruit and vegetable intake is directly related to a person’s engagement, creativity and happiness.
Leftovers from dinner can be a great, easy option to take for lunch. For occasions where leftovers are not an option, combining some vegetables, a complex carbohydrate (like brown rice) and a lean protein provides you with a healthy, balanced lunch time meal.
How To Encourage Healthy Eating At Work
There are various steps that can be taken to encourage healthy eating choices in the workplace, including:
Encourage Staff To Take Lunch Breaks
Encouraging staff to eat away from their desks and take lunch breaks reduces the likelihood of over-eating and makes it easier for them to partake in some exercise throughout the day.
Provide Healthy Snack Options
For some, packing a healthy lunch the night before work and avoiding a nearby drive-thru on a lunch break is an easy task. For others, these positive steps prove to be difficult, especially if unhealthy habits are already frequently practiced.
Encouraging more staff to participate makes the change easier and more appealing to those who are struggling to get started. Offering healthy snacks in the workplace can aid in this process as staff will always have access to healthy, nutritious snacks. The team at Gnibl are well equipped to provide healthy snack solutions with a vending machine for your workplace.
Order Healthy For Meals in Meetings
Shouting employees a meal is a common way to create a community culture within the workplace, or a great way to celebrate the end of a project. Choices around the type of food provided must be carefully considered, as often unhealthy food is more convenient and cost effective. Nowadays, ordering food high in nutritional value is relatively easy due to the amount of options at your disposal.
How Can Gnibl Help?
At Gnibl we believe people deserve a better choice. Our mission is to make healthy snacking more convenient than junk food in the workplace and we do this by offering affordable, convenient and delicious snacks.
We source only the healthiest, tastiest snacks on the market and bring them directly to you through our vending machines and wholesale snack supply. If you feel your office or workplace would benefit from a healthy snacking alternative, get in touch today!