It can be a real struggle to stay healthy at the office. It's tempting to eat out every day for lunch, or to grab something quickly which isn't always the best option. Processed snacks fill up vending machines and seem like they're taking away your choice to eat something fresh. It's hard to consistently eat well, but here are some great tips for clean eating and saving money by bringing your own food to work.
Make It Convenient
Keep healthy foods at the front of your fridge and junk foods at the back.Getty Images
Eating healthy can be a huge pain, but if you lay the groundwork it can be a lot easier. People eat what's convenient because that's the way our brains are wired. If the easiest thing to eat were also the healthiest, you'd see a big difference in your habits. Cut up big bowls of fruit salad and take some to work to snack on, bring healthy alternatives to chips like carrots and hummus, and always check your processed food labels to make sure your 'healthy' granola bar doesn't have twice the sugar of a can of Coke. A big help with convenience is meal prepping so you can just grab your lunch on your way out.
Prepping Is Key
Prep in stages or all at once. It's on your schedule. Getty Images
Prep can be the worst part of making every meal. It takes up the bulk of the time. Still, it's crucial to make healthy meals in advance and luckily, there are different ways to do it. You could break it up so that you don't have to do it all at once, or you could make a big day of it. I find it easier to clean and cut up a whole container of strawberries and leave them ready in the fridge rather than clean a handful of strawberries each time I want a snack. It takes more time in the moment, but the rewards are substantial throughout the week. Yes, prepping also includes making a shopping list and planning the type of meals you want and what you need to buy. It's a process, but it's something you get better at with practice.
Give Your Meal a Home
Use Tupperware containers to prepare several meals for the week. Getty Images
Invest in your Tupperware if you want to bring your own lunch to work. If you have a nice set of containers, you can meal prep multiple meals for the week, and you don't have to worry about needing to wash the one you used the day before just so you can repack your meal for the next day.
Mix and Match
Roast veggies and meats together to save time and make multiple meals. Getty Images
If you get easily bored eating the same meal for lunch every day, learn how to prepare foods you can mix and match. Make more than one type of meat, grain, and vegetable, and rotate the combinations. This variety will make it easier to get excited about your lunch and cut down on the craving to eat out. You don't have to prepare a lot of each item, but be mindful of things that will taste good with a different range of sides.
Bring Your Own Snacks
Nuts and fruit provide a healthy energy boost that won't make you crash.Getty Images
If you suddenly can't make it to lunch and you're too hungry to go on, then you're going to rush to grab whatever snack you can find. If you pack your own snacks and have them on hand, then you don't have to worry about being forced to make unhealthy choices. A bag of nuts kept in your desk drawer won't go bad quickly, and bringing fresh fruit and veggies each day will be a nice reprieve from salty processed snacks.
Making healthy choices is difficult in our modern culture, and especially in our modern workplaces. If making better selections is important to you, then learn to love the groundwork and all of the benefits it brings.
Good luck and happy prepping!