We all start the week with healthy intentions, you’re had a filling bowl of porridge, got a great homemade avocado and quinoa lunch planned and that spin class is booked for 5.30PM, but somehow entering the office at 9AM changes all that.
Sheila has a birthday and with that comes a plethora of crisps, sweets and chocolate, Brenda brings in some homemade cupcakes she spent baking on Sunday, for Sheila’s birthday and there’s always that one friend, Shannon, who insists on making you a sugary, milky, caffeine fuelled coffee every 5 minutes to discuss her boyfriend issues. Mix all that together and you’ve exceeded your daily sugar allowance by 10AM, most likely crashing by 11, but don’t worry, Shannon’s got you another coffee waiting nearby.
Even though you’re working throughout the day doesn’t mean you can’t have an active and healthy lifestyle.
1. Eat breakfast
Never ever skip it. You know you can fit it in, plus a wholesome breakfast can provide you with the energy you need to get through the first half of the day, and it will help prevent you from consuming junk food. Check out some quick and easy yet nutritious and filling ideas out here.
2. Cut out sugary snacks
They’re everywhere in offices (Sheila we’re looking at you)! And it includes those pesky cereal bars that are actually full of nasty refined sugars. Yes, they can be tasty, but they don’t satisfy your true hunger and are digested quickly, leading to a roller coaster of sugar highs and lows. Instead of visiting the vending machine (or Brenda’s cupcake tin), bring snacks from home, almonds, fresh and dried fruit, carrot sticks, homemade popcorn and dark chocolate are all great alternatives.
3. Bring your own lunch
Yes, the onsite cafe offering fried chicken and chip is quite appealing when lunchtime rolls round, but catered food often provides larger portions than normal and you don’t know how many calories you’re eating. Preparing a homemade soup or tasty salad on a Sunday evening will save you time, money and minimise your waistline. Win win.
4. Stay away from fizzy and sugary drinks
They can help you stay awake while working and you may like their taste. But they really don’t do anything for you and are full of empty calories in the form of sugar, just think of those pearly whites. If you need the caffeine, consider coffee (but don’t go crazy) or green tea. – my favourite one is from TeaPigs, try the peppermint one.
5. Drink lots of water
Often the feeling of dehydration is mistaken for hunger so we reach for the cake on Brenda’s desk and not the bottle of water on ours. But realistically glugging down some water will help eliminate those craving and if they persist then you genuinely are hungry, so eat! Sleepiness is also often caused by dehydration, so keep yourself well hydrated and if you want some added flavour, put lime, lemon or cucumber slices into your water bottle. Check out the 11 benefits of lemon water here.
6. Move as much as you can
Walk around the office and stretch every now and then. Take breaks every hour or so and move your body. Use every possible opportunity to burn calories. Move while waiting for programs on the computer to load. If you need to discuss something with your colleague, go to his or her desk instead of making a phone call or sending an email. If you need to go to another floor in the building, take the stairs instead of the elevator. I always try to get outside on my lunch, getting some fresh air really helps and leaving the office for 5 minutes can help clear your mind, ready for the afternoon.
7. Try to be as active as possible outside of work
Having a healthy life outside of work is just as important as in work. It’s a lifestyle not a fad and caring about your body 24/7 will really help all aspects of your life, so join the gym, download a fitness app, go for a run and walk the dog (if you have one, if not walk anyway!)
8. Stand as much as you can
This is healthier than sitting and so, so much better for your posture, whilst also burning more calories. So when Shannon offers to make you that coffee, you better go with her.
9. Get enough sleep
Waking up refreshed and strong in the morning will help prevent binging and caffeine cravings later in the day. Check out my 15 Five Second Stress Busters to help you catch more zzz’s.
10. Put some inspirational quotes or photos in your workspace
I did this the other day and has helped my motivation significantly! Simply print a few photos off (I used Square-Snaps) and make your own little collage. It could be on your wall or desk or anywhere you look at frequently to keep you on the ball and remind yourself of your goals, whatever they may be.
Please note, Sheila, Brenda and Shannon aren’t real.