The notion of the lunch 'hour' has very much gone by the wayside. The vast majority of office workers now consume their lunch whilst sat at their desk in approximately 15 minutes.
To try and address this problem, Barbara presents her top ten tips to stay healthy, not overeat and avoid illness from germs.
Watch out – while you’re sitting at your desk expanding the boss’s profits, you may be expanding your own waist line! If you’re in the habit of eating at your desk, you’ll be well advised to bear in mind the following top ten tips -
1. Chew Slooowwwly!
Many people eat as if they’re in a race to get the food in their stomach as fast as they can! They shovel the food into their mouth, chew for a few seconds and then swallow. What they’re not realising is that the process of chewing is actually a vitally important first stage in digestion - due to the effects of an enzyme in our saliva. Slow down and chew for longer and you should see an improvement in your digestion.
2. Don’t Eat on Autopilot
Commonly, when we eat at our desks, we’re not focusing on our food, but on our work instead. This habit can lead to poor portion control, weight gain and digestive problems.
3. Don’t Overeat
Picking on food all day in addition to having main meals at regular intervals can lead to weight gain, digestive problems and lethargy.
4. Avoid Feeding Bacteria
Keep your desk, keyboard and phone clean so you’re not creating a feeding ground for bacteria! Wash your hands or use hand wipes to cut the risk of germs spreading. Bring food from home in an insulated cool bag with an ice pack and store them properly in a fridge. Finally, if you’re going to heat something, do so thoroughly so that you kill any bacteria. Half-hearted warming won’t kill bacteria but will actually give them the nice cosy conditions they need to multiply!
5. Keep Hydrated
Your brain is at least 85% water so keep it hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Offices with commercial air handling systems can be quite dry so make sure you’ve got a plentiful supply of water.
6. Beware of Caffeine Overload
Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, energy drinks and some soft drinks are relatively harmless in small quantities. However, too many can cause dehydration and caffeine overload, leading to sleepless nights and underperformance the next day.
7. Eat at Regular Intervals
Skipping meals can cause drops in your blood sugar levels that lead to dizzy spells and lack of concentration. Make sure you go to work after having a good breakfast – cereals with dairy-free milk are best. Don’t skip lunch and don’t eat dinner too late or you won’t enjoy a good night’s rest!
8. Healthy Snacks
If you feel the need to snack between meals, first have a glass of water - people often mistake thirst for hunger! If you do need a bite to eat, go for something like fruit or a cereal bar that’s free from additives. Beware that junk food doesn’t give you the prolonged energy flow you need to get through a busy day. After an initial energy rush, sugary food often leads to a drop in blood sugar levels causing the jitters, sugar cravings, a lack of concentration and lethargy.
9. Don’t Drink ‘n’ Eat!
If you’re having a meal or a snack, avoid the temptation to drink anything with it. Your digestive juices are trying their hardest to break down your food, so the last thing they need is for you to start diluting them, even if it’s with a glass of pure spring water!
10. Healthy Office Parties!
Christmas and birthday parties don’t have to be unhealthy. Organize fruit and vegetable platters and a healthy snack hamper. As for the booze, you can’t find anything better than an organic Cabernet Sauvignon, which contains cancer-fighting antioxidants.
The Holistic Life Coach
Holistic & Natural Solutions for Health and Wellbeing