What you eat all day doesn’t just impact your health and weight; it affects your productivity, too.
“If you eat high fat, high sugar meals and snacks you will be sleepy and have low energy overall,” says Lisa De Fazio, a healthy lifestyle expert and registered dietitian. “High fat foods take more work to digest. Candy causes sugar to spike in your blood stream then crash, and you also may have an upset stomach. Who can be productive with all of this going on?”
But, unfortunately, she says, many people tend to make bad eating decisions during the workday.
“Boredom and stress often lead to mindless snacking on things like sweets and chips,” De Fazio explains. “Also, there may be limited healthy food choices or too many temptations around the office, like candy dishes on your colleagues’ desks, cupcakes for birthdays, or greasy pizza during lunch meetings.”
Time–or lack thereof–also plays a part. “One of the reasons people don’t stick to their healthy eating resolutions of bringing their own homemade prepared food, rather than ordering or eating out, is because of a lack of time,” explains Nicole Maftoum, a Lebanese clinical dietitian. “In a fast-paced world, fast food comes as the optimum solution.”
Maftoum says sleep deprivation also affects appetite and pushes one to eat twice the amount of calories that they’d typically consume in a day.
The experts say all of these factors make it easy for us to develop bad eating habits at work–but they’re terrible excuses.
Luckily, there are plenty of quick, easy, and inexpensive healthy snack options.
Almonds: Almonds are a great source of protein and healthy fat that is satisfying. “They contain nine essential nutrients; have the highest rate of proteins when compared to other nuts; have the highest rate of fiber (3.5g per 23 pieces) when compared to other nuts; are rich in Vitamin E (23 pieces provide 35% of the daily value of Vitamin E); and contain monounsaturated fats that help increase HDL levels,” Maftoum says.