The three most common pitfalls in staying healthy whilst at work:
Pitfall #1 – Skipping Breakfast to Curb Hunger.
Studies show, by skipping breakfast you are 5 times more likely to over eat in the evening, significantly increasing weight gain as well as your risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes due to miss-managed blood sugar.
To lock hunger up till lunch you need to turn your body from a sugar burner to a fat burner. The most effective way to do this, is to avoid sugar and processed starch for breakfast. This includes cereals, bread, pastries, energy bars and even natural sugars found in fruit.
Why? Your insulin sensitivity is lowest first thing in the morning, meaning you are more susceptible to spiking your blood sugar which will leave you craving more sugar and starch for the rest of the day. Make time for breakfast, try one of these; scrambled eggs with a side of spinach, Upgraded nut crunch cereal or a Super green power smoothie.
Pitfall #2 – Eating at your desk – digestion criminals.
You might feel proud of yourself for packing a healthy lunch, but by woofing it down in front of a screen your body is being robbed of all the nutrients. The two main criminals in the digestion system are distraction and stress.
Digestion starts in your brain, identifying and smelling foods sends signals to turn off the hunger hormone and release enzymes for digestion. Eating in front of a computer screen distracts the brain, leaving us feeling hungry and unsatisfied.
Stress on the other hand puts our digestive system in lock down because any form of stress in the body is interpreted as a threat to our survival drawing cellular energy away from the digestive system so that we can out run danger. You will know if you’ve eaten while stressed because it often causing bloating, gas and re-flux as a side effect.
Switch off and slow down – before you tuck into your lunch try going for a walk or taking deep breaths to rid your body of the mornings stress. Then savour the food you’ve taken the time to prepare, drag yourself away from your screen to either connect with colleagues, get outside or just eat in peace for 10 minutes – I guarantee you will be more productive when you come back.
A great lesson to remember is when something is in your mouth, your hands should be empty (if your mind has just wandered to the gutter – pull it back) this will encourage you to slow down and chew your food. Lazy chewing will increase stomach acid leading to problems like re-flux and IBS.
Pitfall #3 – Cravings.
We all know the saying; ‘fail to plan & you are planning to fail.’ We all have limited time once we come in from work but the key is to focus on progress not perfection. Don’t try to do it all at once, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Start with water, are you drinking enough? No? Buy yourself a bottle and plan to drink the whole thing by the end of the day.
Next – hot drinks, are you drinking too much caffeine? Check your green tea it’s in there too. Plan to switch 1/2 your hot drinks to decaf or natural teas, especially if you are drinking them after 2pm because this will really effect your sleep.
Finally. Snacks, we all know this is where most people fall down so start with upgrading the snacks you currently have. Deprivation doesn’t work because 100% of cravings are caused by a lack of nutrients so instead of testing your willpower spend 5-10 minutes planning and prepping a variety of upgraded snacks to take with you.
Enjoy your healthy snacks!
Dedicated to making sustainable health simpler.
Pip & the Day One Wellness Team