So many people nowadays live stressful sedentary lives. Thousands of Hong Kong citizens rush out of their homes each morning with nothing but a coffee in their hands straight to their office jobs. This kind of lifestyle has taken its toll on human health and overall wellbeing. It’s not easy to find time for physical activity and healthy meal preparation when your work day lasts 8 or even 12 hours. But there are ways to improve your diet and increase your energy levels and wellbeing.
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How to Improve Your Diet at Work
Transform HK brings you these simple tips for a healthier diet at your office.
1. A Varied Diet
A well balanced diet helps ensure that you are covering all your bases, nutritionally speaking. This way you make sure that your body receives everything it needs for optimal function. For office workers it’s important to eat foods from these food groups on a daily basis:
- fruits and vegetables;
- whole, high-fiber grains;
- legumes like beans, peas and lentils;
- fat-free milk and dairy products;
- lean meat, fish and eggs;
- mono or polyunsaturated fats and oils.
2. Never Skip Breakfast
You’ve heard this a thousand times, for sure. But the importance of a proper breakfast is undeniable. Research has repeatedly shown that people who eat breakfast perform better at work and have more energy throughout the day. Eat fresh fruit, oats, yogurt or whole wheat toast with some eggs or cottage cheese. These types of food will provide the energy you’ll need for the rest of the day. If you are not the breakfast kind of person, you can always eat something simple like a banana and some yogurt and bring the rest of your breakfast with you to work and eat it when you arrive with your first cup of coffee.
3. Focus on a Low-fat, High-fiber Diet
Since office jobs are sedentary, you don’t burn a lot of calories throughout your workday. This is why a low-fat, high-fiber diet is a better choice. You’ll reduce your calorie intake without starving yourself. This kind of diet should allow you to lose 0,5-1kg per week if you are already a little overweight without much extra physical activity.
4. Avoid ’Magic’ Solutions
Fad diets and slimming pills are usually promising big results with little or no effort. While you may lose weight while on a fad diet, once you start eating normally, all the weight will come back. The yo-yo effect is definitely something you don’t want. To lose weight and keep the weight off, you need a well-balanced diet as a lifestyle, not as a temporary solution.
Although diet pills promise amazing results, it’s a common fact that most of them simply don’t work the way you imagined. Without a change in your nutrition plan and exercise, no diet pill can make you lose weight. Not to mention that many of them have potential harmful side effects like headaches, diarrhea, palpitations, anxiety etc.
5. Stay Hydrated
Water is essential to every living being. Make sure that you drink about 1-1.5L per water a day in addition to other beverages such as tea, coffee or juice. Keep a bottle of water always on your desk or somewhere close. This way you will remember to take a sip every time you see it. But watch out, there is also the possibility of drinking too much water, which results in all the minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium) being washed out of your body and it can even lead to a condition known as ‘water intoxication’.
6. Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
Instead of walking to the vending machine every few hours bring your own healthy snacks with you. A bag of nuts, fruits like bananas or apples, rice crackers etc. are an excellent choice. Eating healthy snacks throughout the day will help keep your energy levels up, helping you to be more productive at work. If you don’t have a healthy lunch option at work, you can bring a prepared meal with you like a salad, or hummus, cottage cheese and whole wheat bread.
7. Be Active
It’s hard to make time for gym when your workday lasts up to 12 hours, but there are still ways to sneak in a little workout into your busy day. Replace your office chair with a fitness ball, walk to work, take the steps instead of the elevator etc. You can read our previous article about office workouts at Transform HK here.
Activity is essential not only for your physical wellbeing, but also for your mental health. Stressful jobs have you living a stressful life, and there is nothing better to unwind than some physical activity even if it’s just a brisk walk during lunch break. Research has shown that people who exercise, stick to their diets more easily, and lose more weight, than those who use weight reduction diets alone. You only need 20 minutes a day, so don’t let your busy schedule become an excuse.