WELLBEING BLOG: Smart nutrition tips for fuelling your 9 to 5

Fuelling our bodies correctly will give us more stamina, support us to make better decisions and help us avoid the dreaded afternoon slumps. In her latest blog, wellbeing expert HARRIETTE LUSCOMBE, from Coaches For Change, reports.

If grabbing lunch ‘on-the-go’ sometimes feels like the only option when you’re busy trying to get through your to-do list, then you’re not alone.

In a report published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, they found that takeaways and meal delivery grew by more than 50% during the pandemic – and have stayed this high ever since.

It’s easier than ever to grab a meal deal or have your food delivered at any time of day. However, in reality packaged lunches, takeaways and fast food are ultra processed, more expensive than making your own, and are rigged towards us making unhealthy choices.

Fuelling our bodies correctly will give us more stamina, support us to make better decisions and help us avoid the dreaded afternoon slumps. Therefore, whether you’re working from home, the office, hot desking or on shift, here are five top tips for fuelling your 9 to 5.

1/ Plan and prepare. If this sounds boring to you or triggers your inner rebel, just remember the benefits to your wellbeing and bank balance. Take a look at where you’re going to be for the week. Think about having your breakfast, lunch and snacks ready. Make it easy for you to stick to your plan. This might mean a Sunday evening of prepping or boxing up your leftovers from dinner each evening. If you don’t prep at all at the moment, don’t try and prep the whole week in one go. Maybe make a smaller commitment of prepping two days a week.

2/ Banish eating at your desk. You are entitled to a break, so use it. Break away from your desk or work area to eat. Best case, get outside and eat in the sun (although we know that can be hard to come by). If you don’t have somewhere you can go, turn off your screens and shut your laptop lid. For extra points try to eat as mindfully as possible removing any screens (yes including your phone) so you can focus on the taste and smell of what you’re eating.

3/ Smart snacks. Snacks are not the enemy of healthy eating. In reality they can be key to maintaining our blood sugar levels and avoiding energy slumps. The important thing is what to snack on and making your favourite healthy snacks easy to grab. If you can, prep your snacks. Fruit and and a handful of nuts are perfect, nutritious ways to curb your cravings. But if you find yourself without, you can make a list of your favourite healthy snacks from your canteen or local shop which you can refer to – instead of grabbing the things with the most sugar or colourful packaging. Baked crisps, low sugar drinks, dried fruit, smoothies, dark chocolate could all be good choices. And remember to stay hydrated!

4/ Fill up with food you love. If carrot sticks and hummus ain’t your thing, then don’t pack them for your lunch,  as you’ll be more likely to reach for the unhealthy options. Bring in lunches based on the food you love and will enjoy eating. In general, if you’ve made it at home it will be less processed and better for you then anything you’ll be able to buy from a shop. As a bonus, make sure you’ve got plenty of protein in your lunch to ensure that you get full up for longer.

5/ Choose your celebrations. In communal office and work spaces, sometimes it can feel like every day there is something to celebrate with delicious sugary treats! However, bear in mind that those sugar highs can come with energy lows. Complete abstinence is hard and saintly, so why not come up with some rules about work celebrations that are right for you? For example, maybe you only eat home baked treats, or only indulge on a Friday or once a week. Try and set new standards for healthier celebration snacks like tropical fruit or smoothies.

Pictures from Unsplash.

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