A Dietitian's Top Tips for Staying Healthy at Work

A Dietitian's Top Tips for Staying Healthy at Work

Hello, working folks! You know you fall into this category (regardless of what type of work you do) if you: (1) wake up in the morning and (2) go to work. So, that probably accounts for a vast majority of you. And, if you’re like me, you probably wear many different hats and fit into the student and busy parent categories, too. By using the strategies from all the profiles, you’ll keep yourself happy, healthy, and fit on a daily basis.

Tips to Stay Healthy At Work

Based on my experience as a dietitian, the most common challenges that working folks face are:

  • No time for breakfast
  • No time to exercise
  • Can’t stay away from the vending machines or junk food
  • The 3 to 4 PM snack crash
  • Eating dinner out often due to working too late or too much

How can you balance your work schedule and your commitment to yourself? Although you might not be able to change what you do at work, the strategies discussed below will help you organize your kitchen and prepare meals and snacks ahead of time. You’ll find that making this adjustment is easy and actually adds time to your daily routine, so you can squeeze in that much-needed down time after a crazy day working at the office or from home.

No time for breakfast? Just like for students, breakfast is very important and will help jumpstart your day. Try leaving something out the night before (fruit and almonds) or making overnight slow cooker oatmeal, so food is ready for you when you wake up. With just a few easy steps, you will be eating a healthy breakfast and on your way to making healthy choices the rest of the day.

No time to exercise? Exercise is important for every part of our body, including the mind. The difficult part for most people is beginning a new routine, especially when you feel short on time. Try carving out 10 minutes for an activity you enjoy: yoga, a hike, a walk at lunchtime. Partner up with a workout buddy to make this new habit last. Once you've started your new routine, you can add more time to it or increase the frequency. There are even some great online activities that you can do from your desk!

Can’t stay away from vending machines during the afternoon snack crash? This is a very common time to get hungry. If you are not prepared with a healthy snack, you fall victim to the dreaded vending machine. Luckily, some companies are swapping out their junk food for healthier fare. Until that becomes the norm, though, bring a snack that contains either protein (e.g., nuts, cheese, yogurt, edamame) or fiber (e.g., fruit, vegetable) and drink water to get you over the hump. Fruit is great because it often satisfies the sweet craving that many people have at this time of day, while protein and fiber help keep you satiated so that you don’t get hungry again in 30 minutes.

Eating dinner out too often? Dinners out happen from working a lot, too late, and even taking clients out. I’ve found time and time again, if you start the day off right with a healthy breakfast and eat a healthy snack that you’re positioning yourself to make a good choice at dinner. If time (or lack of it) is getting in the way of making dinner, create a weekly meal plan on Saturday or Sunday. What nights will you be staying home? What will you make? Go to the market and get prepared!  If you know that you have chicken breasts and a salad in the house that you already purchased, you're more likely to go home and make them than if you’re at work at 7 PM and still need to stop at the market.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks to come...

Be Well, Be NutritionWise.

~ Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD of NutritionWise

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.