Avoid workplace healthy-eating saboteurs
Tips to help you avoid unhealthy food options at work functions and parties.
Accredited Bupa dietitian Gemma Cosgriff says some employers are embracing healthy catering options as an extension of workplace health and safety, but there are plenty who are not. She says it’s better to think ahead and have your own plan for passing on the mini muffins and cupcakes.
It pays to have a strategy that helps you navigate a healthier path.
Know your vulnerabilities
Cosgriff says that we may also be more vulnerable to temptation mid-afternoon, when our bodies experience a natural drop in glucose. “I often say afternoon tea is the most important meal of the day.”
She advises making sure you have a nutritious, quality snack mid-afternoon to help you pass on the party pies with ease.
“When there is a celebration late in the day, think, ‘I have already enjoyed my afternoon snack and feel satisfied'.”
Read more Bupa tips on how to eat to avoid an afternoon energy slump.
Be the change you want to see at work
At team events where everyone is asked to contribute, prepare a healthy snacks. You don’t have to say a word – just stand back and watch colleagues enjoy what you’ve prepared.
Be a healthy food champion
According to the Heart Foundation, workplaces that actively promote a healthy lifestyle through initiatives such as providing food and snacks low in added sugar, salt and fat can reap a range of benefits.
These include greater productivity, lower rates of absenteeism, higher staff morale, and reduced stress and anxiety.
Cosgriff suggests reaching for the olives and foods higher in protein at office drinks, such as nuts or chicken or beef skewers - the protein helps you feel fuller for longer so you’re less likely to overindulge.
“Ask a work buddy to support you at the event, too, otherwise those close to you could end up saboteurs by asking you why you’re not eating certain foods.”
“Another tip is to replace the food option by having a water or non-sugar drink in your hand so you will have something to hold to make it less likely you’ll pick up food.”
Protein helps you feel fuller for longer so you’re less likely to overindulge.
Think through your options
“When you are trying to stay healthy, I recommend focusing on what you are gaining rather than what you are cutting out of your diet,” she says.
“Rather than say, ‘I am not going to eat chocolate’ and focus attention on it, think ‘I am enjoying eating more fresh fruit, vegetables and natural foods'.”
With positive affirmations, clever substitutions and support from colleagues, you’ll soon be right on track.