Last month, we introduced you to the future clinical dietitian (current student)- Kristina Vavura that explained how and why healthy eating is important for our work performance. Today, Kristina shares her top 3 tips for balanced diet focused on eating at the office. If you are trying to keep up with your busy schedule but you also want to get into the healthy lifestyle, then these easy tips are just for you:
1. Get informed
The first and most important thing is to learn what impact the food you eat has on you and your health. There is a lot of misleading information that you can find everywhere (internet, a neighbour, a magazine..), so make sure your source of information is reliable and evidence-based.
Knowing more will allow you to make informed and conscious choices and changes to your daily routine. For example, eggs on a toast are a way better choice than jam on a toast because eggs contain protein, zinc, iron, vitamin D and choline (brain stimulant). The jam option, on the other hand, contains mainly carbohydrates and a limited amount of the other 2 macronutrients- protein and fat. This will make you hungry just 30 minutes after you’ve had your breakfast.
2. Build a routine
One of the reasons we have “bad” habits is that we do not plan our days, and go with the flow. Therefore, most of the time we choose easily accessible things to eat during the day.
By planning and building a routine, you will be prepared for each one of your meals and you will be able to actually consider your food choices.
A useful tool and a beautiful accessory for planning are the “Plan it out” planners for healthy and balanced lifestyle (a collaboration between Kristina Vavura and EmpowerMe planners). Here is a link if you are interested:
And another important tip: Make your food choices BEFORE you are hungry. There are thousands of studies that show that when one is hungry- he is much more likely to over-eat processed foods such as cookies, chips, pastries, because he will not feel the signs of satiety at the beginning.
3. Do not skip meals
According to many scientists- when and how much we eat is just as important as our food choices. It is advisable to eat small amounts of food regularly to keep your blood sugar levels at optimal levels. If they fall too much (for example, after a long period of starvation)- your concentration will drop instantly as well and you will be much more likely to grab something easy to eat such as a waffle.
Skipping meals has a number of negative effects:
- More likely to overeat during the day if we skip meals- for example in the evening when we com home, tired, from work and all we want is to sit on the couch and eat something fast and easy to make. And what will that be? A frozen pizza? Or those delicious cookies on the table?
- Decreased mood
- Decreased levels of concentration (since blood sugar levels drop and therefore- energy drops)
Therefore, it is recommended to have 3 main meals and 1 or 2 snacks during the day. The portions don’t have to be huge if you are not hungry. Something small would do a perfect job- e.g. sliced carrots with hummus, an apple with a few almonds or rice crackers with smoked salmon.
There are also many studies that prove how important breakfast is. It provides energy and regulates blood sugar levels. Additionally, having something for breakfast increases the levels of productivity and reduces the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. What’s more, eating at home in the morning gives you the opportunity to control your choice of products and try to include all necessary micro and macronutrients. This will also decrease the risk of overeating later in the day with chocolate or croissants in the office.
One of the easiest ways not to miss breakfast is to prepare it the night before. This way, you will have something quick to take out of the fridge and “run” to work. For example, a sandwich with high-quality chicken fillet, avocado and an egg. Or overnight oats in a jar with yogurt, fruits and nuts. Or if you have 5 extra minutes in the morning- you can make a smoothie with milk, banana, oats, peanut butter/tahini.
- Savoury cheesecake
- Top 3 tips for healthy eating in the office (bTeller Magazine) pt. 2
- Why healthy and balanced eating is important in the office as well? BTV Newspaper (bTeller)
- High-protein Baked French Toast
- Ricotta Toast
- High-protein Ferrero Rocher Inspired Brownie
In the next issue of bTeller magazine, you will find the rest of Kristina’s tips as well as recipes for quick, healthy and tasty office lunch ideas.