If you’ve been focusing on improving your diet, the types of food you eat are important, but how to eat well is a skill well-worth learning to meet your nutrition goals. It’s easy to forget that mealtime behaviours play an important role in health success. Consider the fact that most people eat their lunch and snacks at work, and many have breakfast there too. That’s most of your day’s meals! While a busy schedule or a seemingly-impossible deadline may mean that these behaviours aren’t always achievable, we recommend aiming to implement them whenever you can.
Eat without distractions
Let’s be honest, we’ve all sat down in front of the TV and eaten a whole packet of crisps without even realising what we were doing. Many of us are just as guilty for eating our lunch while working, finding ourselves unsatisfied and hungry for more. Being distracted while you’re eating can make a big difference when it comes to meeting your nutrition goals. It makes it easier to over-consume when you’re not paying attention to what you’re eating.
We recommend allowing yourself 15-30 minutes to eat and enjoy each meal without distractions wherever possible. Not only can this help you appreciate your food even more, but you’ll also find yourself feeling fuller and more satisfied with your meal.
Eat more slowly
Busy lifestyles make it easy for our meals to become just another to-do that needs to be ticked off our lists quickly and efficiently. Many of us have gotten into the habit of quickly devouring our meals and then quickly moving on to the next things we have to do. This may seem like it’s beneficial for productivity, but it’s not good nutritionally. Slowing down allows you to chew your food properly, helping with digestion. It can also help you feel fuller because your stomach needs time to register that you have eaten before it can send hormone signals to the brain to tell you you’re full. This can prevent you from overeating.
This ties in closely to eating without distractions. Eating mindfully involves concentrating on the taste, texture, flavour and overall experience of the food you’re eating. Not only will you find your meals more satisfying, but you may even find yourself noticing different elements of familiar ingredients you hadn’t noticed before. That means that eating mindfully can help to bring lots of excitement back into new and old favourites.
Stick to set mealtimes
This is especially important if you’re working from home, where it can be easier to mindlessly graze all day. Aim to eat at set meal times throughout the day with 2-5 hours gaps between each meal or snack. Pencil time into your schedule and stick to it! Slicing out time to eat well will help you to focus on mindful, slow eating, and it can really help your productivity later in the day. It’s a win win!
Now that you have the HOW to eat healthy at work, here are three steps to planning WHAT to eat to meet your nutrition goals. And if you’re looking for even more eat-healthy-at-work content, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn.