“What Is the best diet for an office job?”
Coming from a digital marketing background which involves a lot of sitting on your laptop typing away all day (which is exactly what I am doing now ironically) it can be very confusing on what to eat or not to eat in a sedentary job because of the dogma surrounding carbs, calorie counting and fats nowadays. Here I suggest 7 tips that I found have worked well for me:
1) Plenty Of Protein
Protein is often the most under valued macro-nutrient because of the stigma around bodybuilding with women’s thought processes thinking they will all of a sudden turn into the incredible hulk 30 minutes after consuming a protein shake. This obviously isn’t the case.
Protein plays an important role in repairing all body tissues and cells not just muscles, it helps keep you full for a longer period of time which is ideal for the office worker and it is a thermo genic macro-nutrient with apparently 20-35% of protein calories ingested burned whilst processing through the body. This shows that protein is one of the most crucial aspects of burning fat as well as boosting your immune system.
2) Intake Good Fats
It still baffles me that when you suggest consuming fat such as avocado to someone not in the fitness or health industry there answer is “will this not make me fat though?” my answer is usually a sarcastic response such as “yes eating avocado will make you fat, but them Lucozade drinks and gummy bears you have as a snack are perfectly fine!”
Our bodies are designed to eat good fats such as: avocados, all of the coconut products (oil, milk, butter, cream, water etc) , nuts and olive oil. Increasing fats will help increase your omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to prevent inflammation and are often used heavily in detox diets for illnesses such as fibromyalgia, IBS and cancer.
Besides all this Fats is an excellent hormone building nutrient, so if you are wanting to feel tip top and bursting with energy whilst you working in the office make sure you have a good share of these.
3) Good Quality Carbohydrates
DONT EAT CARBS YOU WILL GET FAT!! Unsurprisingly this is my sarcasm again, which probably to most isn’t very funny but its how I get myself through the day. Whoever introduced the myth of eating carbohydrates will put fat on you should be slayed by all the drained, energyless (is this a word?!) and moody employees out there.
The truth is that most people nowadays have heard of simple carbs such as bread, pasta, sugary foods etc but yet the typical office workers diet is still a sandwich for dinner with crisps and a can of “diet” coke. As a nation we are perplexed at the fact we always feel tired around 3pm and ready for clocking off at 5 and never relate it back to the diet. This is down to both the level of calories you are in taking through the day and also the quality of your macro-nutrients such as carbohydrates.
When I mean quality I don’t mean buying brown bread instead of white, I mean sweet potato, oats and rice (brown or white – the argument is still up in the air to which Is more nutritious). Consuming good quality carbs through the day will leaving you feeling tip top not only energy but more importantly improve your feelings of wellbeing – helping you motivate yourself to front up your best fake laugh for the boss’ terrible jokes!
Again with carbohydrates it is all about moderation, you need to find how your best perform optimally with a good macro-nutrient breakdown see my prices page if you need help finding your optimal carb intake.
4) Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail!!
Such a cheesy cliché and I’m guessing I will have lost a lot of bloggercred (may catch on) however it is so true of anyone trying to diet well in most jobs. Office jobs are no different as unless you work down in the capital the choices of healthy food places are limited to a subway or a co-op.
This is why I recommend to anyone working in an office to buy a couple of Tupperware pots and a protein shaker to make dieting at work a whole lot easier. Pre-cooking the meals the night before enables you to cook high quality ingredients with the perfect breakdown of protein, carbs and fats whilst also saving you a lot of money.
Granted it may not taste as nice as fresh and personally I don’t use microwaves so the only real option is to eat it cold but you should start getting used to thinking along the lines of food through the day providing a purpose which is energy and nutrients. I don’t mean you can never enjoy food ever again but who really feels that great after crisps, sandwich and a fizzy drink??
5) Limit The Hot Drinks
I would like to start off saying not all hot drinks are bad, I have 2 or 3 cups of fruit tea a day normally one in a morning and definitely one containing valerian root or good adaptogens before bed. But nowadays hot drinks such as Coffee are I believe seen to be an excuse for a fix of sugar, especially when you see the ridiculous “coffees” from some of the high street chains – they have more cream and syrup on than a portion of Toffee cheesecake most of the time!
In an office environment hot drinks are regularly served every hour, this for a lot of people a time for 2 sugars in the drink and a few biscuits. If you seriously want to lose weight or improve your health these kinds of snacks need to go – hence why I found it easier to completely cut all regular tea and coffee out of my diet when I first started.
If the sugar content and temptation that surrounds these drinks isn’t enough to put you off then the caffeine content should be. Over the years coffee has become an addiction in stressed lives for a “pick me up” in the morning, causing even more insulin resistance making it harder for your cells to respond to blood sugar. In a nutshell, caffeine in the right environment (pre-training) can be effective in performance, but for health benefits I simply disregard it.
6) Get Some Nuts!
This 100% doesn’t mean go out and buy a Snickers, even though I am pinching Mr T’s slogan on their adverts. Anyway, nuts provide an excellent snacking option when working long shifts at a desk. Nuts provide an excellent source of dietary fibre and omega-3’s which I hope by now you understand the benefits of these.
By nuts I mean non-salted and not the kind you find in a sweet store with chocolate melted all over them. Almonds, Cashews & Brazil nuts are just 3 examples that have different sets of qualities between them. For energy and long lasting fullness Macadamias provide great nutrient dense calories for long periods without meals instead of reaching for the biscuit tin.
7) Involve & Encourage Staff
Lastly and maybe the most important for your self-esteem and morale is to encourage other staff members to embrace eating healthier and to feel better in the workplace. You are a lot more likely to sustain a good practise when it comes to food if 2 or 3 other staff are involved as well. You will find yourself having regular chats and updating each other on what you have done right and wrong it almost becomes a way of life.
If you are working in a large office you will more than likely have sniggers and sarcastic comments regarding you trying to live healthier, just disregard these and carry on doing your thing. Once you are in a great mood everyday, feeling energetic and producing a higher performance at work you will know yourself how good you feel and all being said that is the only thing that matters!
Visit my personal training online page to see how I can help you.