Are you searching for ways to have a healthy lunch for the office? Have you ever wondered what you can eat for lunch to keep you satiated and energized and not make you sick to your stomach? If so, you’re not alone. According to a survey conducted by the American Heart Association and Aramark, over half of the workers who typically eat lunch during working hours have difficulty making healthy choices.
If you are looking for inspiration on packing a healthy lunch for the office, you are in the right place. This month we have compiled six easy-to-implement tips to pack a healthy lunch.
Keep It Simple
Many of us have gotten into the habit of letting our eyes dictate our stomachs, which results in a less than healthy lunch for the office, turning our lunch hour into an afternoon full of regret. Packing a lunch filled with unnecessary calories and unhealthful ingredients makes us more likely to gain weight, develop cravings for junk foods, and feel cranky and exhausted by the time we get home.
The solution is to keep your lunch simple. Sure, you could bring a salad or a vegetable platter to the office, but will that keep you from ordering out for lunch every other day? Probably not.
Instead, opt for sandwiches, easy to pack fruits like apples, berries, and bananas and veggies like baby carrots and sugar snap peas, crackers, and low-fat cheese. You’ll still be getting in plenty of nutrients, and you’ll likely be less inclined to hit the vending machine throughout the workday.
Choose Fruits And Vegetables Over Processed Foods
As we mentioned above, a staple of any healthy lunch for the office is plenty of fruits and vegetables. While you might be tempted to bring along a bag of Lay’s potato chips or a bowl of instant mac and cheese, the best choice is likely to be the opposite.
“Processed food” generally means anything ready to eat and low in nutrients. And while these items might taste delicious when eaten alone, they’re typically laden with sodium, preservatives, and other additives that can wreak havoc on your health when consumed daily.
For example, potato chips might taste great in moderation and satisfy your craving for a salty snack. However, most are fried in oil and advertising campaigns lead us to believe that you “can’t eat just one.” The excess fat and calories will add up over time, and you will notice the difference in your waistline and energy levels.
On the other hand, fruits and vegetables can satisfy your cravings for sweet and crunchy and are especially delicious and satisfying when paired with healthy dips like hummus, guacamole, and artichoke dip.
Pro Tip: Talk to your manager about having healthy break room snacks on hand. Promoting healthy eating habits in this way will help all employees to feel better and perform better.
Pack A Protein-Rich Lunch
For many of us, the biggest challenge to packing a healthy lunch for the office is finding something that’s both filling and healthy. The key to staying satiated throughout the day is including plenty of low-fat proteins in your lunch bag. In addition to the fruits and veggies mentioned above, look for sandwiches and salads with at least some of these ingredients: lean meats and fish, low-fat cheeses and yogurts, eggs, nuts and seeds.
If you find that your lunch bag is becoming dull, do a quick Google search for protein-rich lunch ideas. A myriad of recipes and lunch ideas will keep you anticipating lunch and away from the closest fast-food drive-through.
Learn the Difference Between Hunger and Thirst
Did you know that the part of the brain that signals that you are hungry also signals thirst? Unless you train yourself to know the difference between the two signals, you may be craving calories when what your body really needs is hydration.
While the two are not mutually exclusive, LiveStrong suggests that an excellent way to learn the difference is to drink a glass of refreshing water when hunger pains strike. Then wait 15 minutes to see if you are still hungry. If so, go ahead and eat a healthy snack. However, if the water satisfies you, you are likely dehydrated and need to drink more water throughout the workday.
Related: How Much Water Should You Drink When Working To Avoid Dehydration?
Replace Sugary Beverages With Filtered Water
Nutritionists, dieticians and the medical community agree that the cornerstone of packing a healthy lunch for the office is replacing sugary and high-calorie beverages with water. Because sugary drinks are relatively easy to overconsume, experts recommend limiting the number of sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and other sugary beverages you consume.
If you find yourself craving beverages with a little more flair for your taste buds, try adding citrus fruits or berries to your water. Beverages like unsweetened tea, coffee and even low-fat milk are other alternatives that you can explore to keep your lunch bag interesting.
Your Healthy Lunch Tomorrow Starts Tonite
Mornings are hectic for most people. Trying to get yourself and your family ready for the day, walk the dog, and make sure you are out the door on time can have you grabbing the easiest lunch option available, which is not always the healthiest. The best way to combat this is to pack a healthy lunch for the office the night before.
Not only will this one simple step save you time, but you will see benefits in other ways as well. Packing a lunch when you are full from dinner will keep you from making hunger-driven choices about what to bring. And because hindsight is 20/20, night-time lunch packers can reflect on whether they met their nutrition goals for that day and make adjustments for the next day’s lunch.
Packing a healthy lunch for the office can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to lunching on healthy, satiating meals that won’t make you feel sluggish or leave you craving junk food.
Remember, healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring or time-consuming. In fact, with just a few simple adjustments, you can pack healthy, tasty meals for the office that will leave you craving for more.
And when you stay hydrated with delicious filtered water from an office water delivery service, your whole body health will improve, leaving you feeling energized rather than lethargic. Contact Clearly Colorado to see how our Colorado filtered water delivery services can help you reach your health and fitness goals.