Chained to your desk during the day? Eating healthfully can be a real challenge if you’re deskbound, but with a little help and careful preparation, managing a diet is definitely “doable”, Before we get to the practical and tactical tips listed below, be mindful of the pitfalls that plague the deskbound dieter.
- Take candy, for instance. While it may be tempting to keep a candy bar or two in your desk for quick energy, remember that these tend to have very little nutrients and are loaded with calories. And while you may get a temporary boost from eating them, your blood sugar will rise, spike and fall quickly, leaving you feeling more tired than before you ate. If you find that you’re susceptible to sight-inspired eating, keep sugar free chewing gum on hand so that you’ll be less tempted to pick up the junk food that may be hanging around the next desk.
- Don’t forget to keep a water bottle handy. Staying hydrated is an important part of managing your appetite. Your thirst mechanism is not very sensitive, and it’s easy to eat when all you really need is to drink! Water is the most thirst quenching of all beverages – sodas and soft drinks tend to make you even thirstier.
Plan to bring your meals and snacks, if possible. Stick to principles outlined below and you’ll stay on a healthy track!
- Use individual portion size (or smaller) zippered bags to keep your snacks separated. Fill them with almonds or walnuts for protein and favorable fat, and dried or fresh fruit for healthy carbohydrates and fiber. This will keep you full in-between meals. Dried soy nuts, soy crisps and whole grain, peanut butter-filled pretzels also make great pick-me-ups.
- Plan for something to eat every 3 hours. If you’re stuck in the office, whether busy or not, having enough food is critical. Consider turkey jerky, string cheese and individual portions of all natural, reduced fat peanut butter as great protein rich core snack ingredients, and add on raw vegetables, such as baby carrots, and fresh fruit with whole grain crackers to round out the snack.
- Consider individual serving size containers of yogurt, cottage cheese and tuna fish as well. No need to feel constrained by lack of refrigerator space — you can find small, well-insulated coolers in any sporting goods store that, with ice, can safely hold your perishables for hours. With disposable plates and tableware, you’re good to go!
If you follow this simple program, and start the week with a plan for each day – you’ll have any desktop dining dilemmas solved for good!