How to Watch What You Eat At Work

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Do you eat like a gem on the weekends and then, at work, find yourself torn between the cheeseburger and the $3 mozzarella sticks?

It can be difficult to maintain your diet during the week, but I’ve found that a few things work really well for me:

Fruit
Fruits with skins are cheap, healthy, and easy to bring to work because you don’t even have to worry about keeping them on a clean surface. As a germaphobe I am particularly into bananas, kiwis, oranges, and grapefruit and it’s fun to just have them rolling around on your desk, waiting to be eaten.

Easy Sandwiches
There’s a lot you can do with just some bread, arugula, already-cooked chicken sausage, a piece of cheese, and a microwave. Just saying.

Leftovers
This is probably the holy grail of maintaining your diet at work. If you just muster up the mental willpower when you get home at night to cook a big dinner, you can bring your leftovers the next day. You won’t even have to consider the $1.25 Cup ‘O Noodles.

Raw Veggies
This is for the go-hards… A Tupperware of raw veggies never hurt anyone. Just eat them along with your granola bar and your easy sandwich. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, even cucumber (although you’ll have to slice that up and at that point you might as well make a salad). Also—if you do bring a salad, pack your dressing separately. Salads aren’t gross, wet mushy salads are gross.

Be patient with yourself and try to bring one healthy thing a day. Or, at the cafeteria, buy one healthy thing instead of one unhealthy thing. It’s easy to eat healthy on the weekends, when you’ve got time and the willingness to spend a bit more money, but it’s important not to let work get in the way of a healthy, happy lifestyle.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexis April 23, 2015 at 11:54 am

Great tips! I personally bring baby carrots to the office everyday. Focusing on my work as I munch helps distract me from the fact that they aren’t slathered in high-fat ranch dressing, so that’s one way to get healthy veggies in your belly! Now if I can just get rid of the candy stash hiding in my desk drawer…

Rita April 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Just wanted to add that a jar of peanut butter doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge; it’s ok in your desk and handy to dip apple slices or celery sticks. Hummus is great but that needs a fridge. There are lots of brands of peanut butter that are sugar free, low salt, or natural.

Kelly April 23, 2015 at 12:36 pm

These are great tips. I try to take a little time on the weekend, usually Sunday, to plan lunches and snacks for the week and pick up whatever I need at the store. This way I’m organized and more liable to stick to the plan!

Shanna April 23, 2015 at 2:46 pm

I also go to the market on Sundays to pickup my lunch meals for the week, I purchase a variety of fruits & veggies to go along with my lunch or, for healthy snacking at work.

Tommy April 23, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Thanks, Alexis, for the baby carrot tip. No peeling or cutting. I noticed that my supermarket has bags of ready to eat, bite-size veggies in the produce aisle. Quite expensive, but nice to have if you’re rushed in the a.m.

Kristen R April 23, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Nice reminders. I’ve already switched from soda to iced tea and survived, so I think I can try fruit instead of cookies next. Making progress.

Lisa April 24, 2015 at 10:17 am

On Sunday I put together all my snacks for the week in separate Ziploc bags. This makes my mornings so much easier.

Therese N April 24, 2015 at 1:38 pm

A la the King, Elvis Presley, minus the bread, I love banana slices topped with peanut butter. Yum. It will keep you from picking on candy and cake that’s around at work. Any sturdy fruit works with peanut butter.

Sylvia April 24, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Raw veggies is a healthy go to snack, especially around 3 o’clock when you have the urge to hit the office vending machine, instead go to the refrigerator and pull out your veggies to snack on.

Gerralyn April 27, 2015 at 11:24 am

If you can’t tote water in to work, our vending machines have plenty of bottles of cold water. Our fridge makes lots of ice so I go for the free tap water. I stay away from the snack machine and bring an apple or an orange to work, But sometimes you gotta have that crunch – I keep a container of unsalted almonds handy. I’m saving a bundle not using the vending machines!

Eli April 27, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Balogna, ham, salami (anything with salt) is bad. Turkey is good. I have been bringing a sandwich (and, after wanting to lose a bit of weight, a half a sandwich) of turkey breast–with a touch of mayo–to work every day for at least two years now. Really! Am I sick of turkey? No, it’s all mental and because I know it is healthy for me and has few calories. So, having a banana during my morning break and a fiber bar during my afternoon break, I certainly have room left for a sensible meal at dinnertime at home.

Erna April 27, 2015 at 3:14 pm

We always have a spread of food at work for birthdays – brownies, cheese & crackers, cake, cookies, chips & cupcakes. But for the last few years we’ve added fruit, vegetables and dips like hummus and guacamole, and salsa. I think the fruit and vegetables counts towards eating healthy.

Earl April 28, 2015 at 10:41 am

My son and I benefit from healthy snacks my wife packs for us. Baby carrots, celery sticks, cut up cukes and apple slices are just a few things she packs at night . Then in the a.m. it’s my job to make the fresh sandwiches. There’s no excuse to eat junk food, excuses like I don’t have time to make lunch.

Sharon April 30, 2015 at 10:24 am

I’m not a blogger, just a reader, but I have to add that it’s easier to eat healthy at work if you ask interested co-workers to join you. At the lunch table if all 3 of your friends are eating salads along with you, then you all benefit. Aside from your health, you’ll want to look great in your summer clothes, won’t you?

Peter May 1, 2015 at 11:37 am

I used to get kidded at work & called Peter Rabbit. I’m sort of a vegetarian, always snacking on carrots & celery, raw peppers. I enjoy a little chicken & fish away from work. Now I’m getting asked for tips about how the guys I work with can drop a few pounds. I don’t get kidded about the veggies any more since I’m the guy without any double chin.

Josephine May 4, 2015 at 9:28 am

I believe in “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” so I try to have one at work every day. I don’t stick with just the red delicious. I mix it up with Granny Smith, Pink Lady, etc. Lately the giant size Romes have been on sale and the others are priced high. But they’re so good for you, so fit apples into your lunch budget whenever you can.

Yenzy May 5, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Bringing work to lunch helps save your wallet too. I could easily spend $20-30 a day on food and drinks alone. If I prep my meals and find something healthy it is double the benefits.

Micki May 6, 2015 at 12:45 pm

This is my first “real” job after high school and I am tempted every day. The people I work with love to order lunch from all over-pizza places, Chinese food, barbeque, Mexican, etc. The delicious smells are getting to me making my salads seem pretty dull. And one girl had the nerve to comment that the tuna in my salad was smelling up the lunchroom. Come on. How could she detect it among all the other food there?

Greta May 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm

We’re celebrating a birthday at work today, and for the next few days judging from the amount of food we all brought in. But we have veggies, fruit, cheese- all good things to balance the chips, dips, cake & bagels. Just be selective and avoid the sweets!

Patrice September 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Planning healthy meals beforehand is a great way to eat healthy at work. One thing that can also help is to limit your spending cash (or leave it at home!) I have often had times when I’ve packed a healthy lunch but then around lunch time in the office, I smell the delicious pasta or French fries someone ordered from the cafeteria..,and I want to go and buy some for myself! Now I put myself on a budget or leave the cash at home so that I am not tempted to buy snacks and stick to the healthy meal that I prepared for myself.

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