Leaving the office for lunch is a new vacation day!
Nutrition Expert: Sana Saiyed, Practicing Clinical Dietitian, and Certified Diabetes Educator, Mumbai.
There are many days of the week when we have to be present mentally and physically in the meeting post-lunch hours which makes it a little difficult for us Indians as ur meals are generally high in carbohydrates.
Eating meals like Rajma chawal, samosa, pakoda, chole bhature, biryani, roti sabzi, etc can you sluggish and slow on your big day. What if it is your appraisal day and you are caught yawning? What if it is your big presentation but your motor response is very slow?
Here in this blog today we will be discussing things to keep in mind which packing your lunch or while placing an order in the office.
Carbohydrates, also known as starches and sugars, are your body’s main energy source. Complex carbohydrates include legumes, grains, and starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, peas, and corn. Simple carbohydrates are found mainly in fruits and milk, as well as in foods made with sugar, such as candy and other sweets.
High-carbohydrate meals (> 60% of total dietary energy) that consist predominantly of high glycemic carbohydrates have detrimental metabolic effects.(https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/high-carbohydrate-diet#:~:text=High%2Dcarbohydrate%20diets%20(%3E%2060,type%202%20diabetes%20or%20pregnancy.)
Unhealthy high-carbohydrate diets increase carbohydrate content and may also increase fat intake. Unhealthy high-carbohydrate diet risks vary because they tend to involve the consumption of refined or processed carbohydrates. Foods made with refined and processed carbohydrates are typically made with more fat. More often than not, the fats in these foods are unhealthy saturated and trans fats, which are associated with different health issues.
But poor nutrition doesn’t just impact our health, it can affect our performance at work by negatively impacting concentration and energy levels, and cause irritability, frustration, and impatience. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170802134738.htm)
- Stay hydrated: It is important to stay hydrated but you should try to do so by drinking water and not sugary or caffeinated drinks as they can have adverse side-effects such as dehydration, hyperglycemia, and sleep disruption.
- Alcohol or excessive caffeine consumption dehydrates the body and energy drinks (including those containing taurine) have been banned in some workplaces due to their hyper-caffeinated content, lack of nutritional value, and detrimental health effects.
- Do not skip your breakfast: Skipping your breakfast can make you fall for wrong decisions. By doing so you make yourself more susceptible to weight gain and at an increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol.
- Eating the first meal of the day can encourage your body to burn more calories throughout the day and help contain rising cortisol (the primary ‘stress hormone’) levels which are high in the early morning. High levels of cortisol can make you feel anxious or jittery.
- Fooducate yourself: The first and most important thing to do is learn about the nutritional value and impact of foods and drinks — and reading this is a part of that.
- By educating yourself, you will be able to make simple and easy changes to your diet for healthier outcomes and better work performance. For example, eggs on toast makes a better breakfast than jam on toast by switching sugar for protein, zinc, iron, vitamin D, and the brain-boosting chemical choline. It is also a myth that eggs contribute to high cholesterol.
- Snack sensibly: Hunger can be a distraction at work and many of us fall prey to the vending machine with all its salty, sugary, fatty badness. But there are healthy ways to snack that will also boost your mood and productivity.
- By paying attention to what we’re eating and when, and enjoying the experience, we can allow ourselves to relax and have the occasional treat.
- Try to apply the 80/20 rule — make the best choices you can most of the time and the treats become just that; a delicious treat rather than the norm. Your concentration, energy levels, and mood will all benefit.
- Take time to take your lunch
- Prepare your lunch at home
- Find a lunch buddy and/or start a lunch club
- Keep food at work (dressing, condiment etc.)
- Don’t eat at your desk – it’s much easier to overeat if you’re distracted
- Find the healthy eating options near your office
- Exercise portion control
- Avoid processed/packaged foods
Benefits of healthy eating at work
Poor nutrition doesn’t just impact our health, it can affect our performance at work by negatively impacting concentration and energy levels, and cause irritability, frustration, and impatience.
It will help you understand good and balanced nutrition and offer advice on how to optimize your diet at work so you can benefit from its effects:
- Cognitive function
- Immune system
- Energy levels
- Mental health
- Chance of lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease
By adopting the strategies and tactics below you will be on the path to improved work performance as well as overall health and well-being.