Tips for Eating at Your Desk

When time is tight and deadlines are looming, it can be easy to slip into the habit of eating at your desk. Follow these tips from the Nutrichef founder and guru nutritionist Barbara Cox to avoid making unhealthy decisions.


1. Chew Slooowwwly!

Many people eat as if they’re in a race to get the food in their stomach as fast as they can! They shovel the food into their mouth, chew for a few seconds and then swallow. What they’re not realising is that the process of chewing is actually a vitally important first stage in digestion – due to the effects of an enzyme in our saliva. Slow down and chew for longer and you should see an improvement in your digestion.


2. Don’t Eat on Autopilot

Commonly, when we eat at our desks, we’re not focusing on our food, but on our work instead. This habit can lead to poor portion control, weight gain and digestive problems.


3. Don’t Overeat

Picking on food all day in addition to having main meals at regular intervals can lead to weight gain, digestive problems and lethargy.


4. Avoid Feeding Bacteria

Keep your desk, keyboard and phone clean so you’re not creating a feeding ground for bacteria! Wash your hands or use hand wipes to cut the risk of germs spreading. Finally, if you’re going to heat something, do so thoroughly so that you kill any bacteria.


5. Keep Hydrated

Your brain is at least 85% water so keep it hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Offices with commercial air handling systems can be quite dry so make sure you’ve got a plentiful supply of water.


6. Beware of Caffeine Overload

Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, energy drinks and some soft drinks are relatively harmless in small quantities. However, too many can cause dehydration and caffeine overload, leading to sleepless nights and under-performance the next day.


7. Eat at Regular Intervals

Skipping meals can cause drops in your blood sugar levels that lead to dizzy spells and lack of concentration. Make sure you go to work after having a good breakfast – cereals with dairy-free milk are best. Don’t skip lunch and don’t eat dinner too late or you won’t enjoy a good night’s rest


8. Healthy Snacks

If you feel the need to snack between meals, first have a glass of water – people often mistake thirst for hunger! If you do need a bite to eat, go for something like fruit or a cereal bar that’s free from additives. Remember – sugary food often leads to a drop in blood sugar levels causing the jitters, sugar cravings, a lack of concentration and lethargy.


9. Don’t Drink ‘n’ Eat!

If you’re having a meal or a snack, avoid the temptation to drink anything with it.
Your digestive juices are trying their hardest to break down your food, so the last thing they need is for you to start diluting them, even if it’s with a glass of pure spring water!


10. Healthy Office Parties!

Christmas and birthday parties don’t have to be unhealthy. Organize fruit and vegetable platters and a healthy snack hamper. As for the booze, you can’t find anything better than an organic Cabernet Sauvignon, which contains cancer-fighting antioxidants


If you do find yourself eating on the go or at your desk, you’ll want something quick, healthy and portable. What are your go-to lunches? Let us know by leaving us a comment on Twitter or Facebook. Follow the links at the top of the page.

This article was taken from the last edition of Food & Hospitality InBrief. If you would like to read more articles like this or receive the next edition, coming later this year, click here.