Eating Healthy at Work Is Possible: Here’s How To Do It

How healthy are your workweek food habits? Take this quiz to find out.

What do you usually drink in the morning?

  1. A large mocha from your favorite café
  2. Black coffee or tea and/or water

What are you more likely to snack on at work?

  1. The doughnuts left in the office
  2. Whole fruits and vegetables

What do you typically eat for lunch?

  1. Fast food from the place around the corner
  2. A balanced meal brought from home

If you picked mostly “A” answers, you might be consuming a lot more calories and fat than you realize.

Your food choices matter.

When you’re busy, it’s easy to grab whatever is available. It’s not just about convenience, either. If you’re tired and stressed, some extra fat, salt, and sugar may sound great.

Unfortunately, this can lead to poor nutrition, which can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. While indulging in an unhealthy treat every now and then may not be so bad, regular unhealthy eating can put you at risk for many health problems, including:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain cancers
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tooth decay
  • Depression

Start making healthy choices.

Eating well doesn’t need to be hard. It can even taste great and save money.

  • Coffee can be healthy, depending on how you drink it. The American Heart Association says that coffee can improve your mood and focus and may even lower your risk for certain diseases including Type 2 diabetes. Adding excessive amounts of cream and sugar, however, turns coffee into a much less healthy beverage choice. Try drinking black coffee instead of a large mocha; the money you’ll save is an added bonus.
  • Avoid sugary drinks. Soda is widely recognized as being bad for your health. Even fruit juice has been criticized for being too high in sugar. Water is generally your best bet. Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
  • Pack a lunch. This is a cheap and easy way to eat right and avoid fast food temptations. You can make a wrap sandwich filled with hummus and vegetables; a salad with grilled chicken and a light dressing; or leftovers from the healthy dinner you ate the night before. For more ideas and recipes, see Eating Well’s Cheap Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work.
  • Say no to the office doughnuts. If your company provides unhealthy treats, encourage your company to provide healthy snacks instead, such as fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and nuts.
  • Keep some snacks on hand for yourself. If your company doesn’t provide these snacks, bring them for yourself. By keeping some of your favorite healthy snacks around, you’ll be less tempted to grab something unhealthy. Keep a healthy, unperishable item – like a granola bar or nuts – in your desk in case you get hungry. Bring other items like string cheese and fresh fruit to enjoy that day.