There is nothing worse than feeling tired and lethargic at work. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can really boost your creativity and productivity throughout your workday. It is easy to make unhealthy choices while at the office, especially if you have access to vending machines. Over caffeinating and eating foods high and sugar can actually increase fatigue and even stress.
Pack a Lunch
One of the easiest ways to keep your energy level up and stay motivated throughout the day is to pack yourself a deliciously healthy lunch. Meal prepping is one way to prepare for the week. At the very least, keep healthy food on hand that is easy to pack up for lunch. You can even cook bigger meals and save the leftovers.
When packing a lunch, make sure it is something you will actually eat. There are often unpredictable temptations that make stress eating accessible. Be equipped with appealing, nutritious alternatives. Although your packed lunch should be something you look forward to, it doesn’t have to be social media picture perfect.
Make it Easy
Here are some tips to make bringing food from home an easy habit to get into.
- Make a plan. Set yourself up for success by planning ahead. Dedicate a specific time each week for planning for food preparation. Determine what dinners would make good leftovers. Keep your kitchen stocked with easy grab-and-go options for the occasions when things don’t go according to plan.
- Keep it simple. Your lunches don’t have to be over the top to be wholesome and satisfying. Plan simple meals that include a source of protein and some fruits and veggies. Small portions of nuts and seeds are a great way to get that crunchy, salty kick without resorting to potato chips or other junk foods.
- Mix things up. It is tempting to pack the same thing every day. Although this technique can simply the lunch-making process, it gets boring after a while. Don’t be afraid to mix things up from week to week to keep your taste buds interested.
- Buy containers. Stock your kitchen with some divided lunch containers and a good lunchbox, preferably insulated. Having leak-proof containers can really make packing lunch much easier. Mason jars can also serve as nice salad and soup holders.
- Pack the night before. Go ahead and pack your lunch the night before. If you meal prep or already have something prepared in the refrigerator, go ahead and put it in your lunchbox. That way you are less likely to forget it in the rush of the morning.
Studies show that consuming more fruits and vegetables increases motivation and leads to a happier more energetic you. Fatty foods like pizza and cheeseburgers can actually make you feel a bit groggy. Although they may provide more sustained energy over time, they require more work from your digestive system. On the other hand, fast glucose releasing foods like pasta and breads give you bursts of energy followed by a slump.
Take this into account when planning your lunches out each day and week. If you are going to have a bowl of pasta, make sure it is accompanied by a nice green salad. Try to pack balanced meals that excite your taste buds and keep you fueled.
To keep things balanced, have a main entree like a wrap, sandwich, soup, or salad. Throw in some healthy sides like veggies and hummus, fruit, yogurt, and nut packs. If you are a vegan, don’t forget to add vegan sources of b12 to help maintain energy levels. These sides can also work as snacks throughout the day.
Take the time to step away from your desk if possible at lunch. Focus on your delicious meal, chat with a friend, or even catch up on a podcast. Take a moment for yourself to decompress and enjoy eating.
Fueling yourself correctly during lunch can really improve your day and increase your motivation and productivity at work. You will return home at the end of the day feeling accomplished rather than defeated.
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