We spend a large part of our time at work, so our eating habits in the office naturally have a considerable impact on our overall health. At goalmap, as you may know, we are convinced that the company is a place of natural prevention, and this also concerns food!
The office can be a place of temptation – how can you avoid the temptation of the vending machine when you are hungry or your colleague has just opened a can of coca? But if you want, you can also change your office habits to have a healthier eating routine. Alexandra Murcier, dietician-nutritionist, gives us her advice on healthy eating in the office.
Alexandra, a member of the AFDN (Association Française des Diététiciens
Healthy food in the office? Yes, it’s possible!
Hello Alexandra, could you give us some concrete advice on how to have a healthy diet at work?
The best way to eat healthy in the office is often to bring your meals with you, because it allows you to better control what you eat, and it is also more economical in the long term.
Company canteens can also be a good alternative if you know how to make informed choices. Finally, for those who systematically eat outside it is important to vary the meals to cover all the needs in different vitamins and minerals. In any case, it is important to avoid skipping meals.
Examples of healthy meals that can be brought to work?
It is easy to bring mixed salads (containing starchy foods and proteins) such as Caesar Salad. Pre-cooked cereal mix bags for microwave reheating can also be a good alternative when combined with raw vegetables. Fruits are easy to transport and store even if you don’t have a refrigerator in the office and they allow you to finish your meal with a full supply of vitamins.
What are the simple little actions that can be implemented in companies to help employees maintain good eating habits?
First, give them a real lunch break, in a pleasant room dedicated to this purpose (not in front of the computer!). It is necessary to encourage the consumption of healthy products, a basket of fruit available is often very appreciated.
Nutrition and work performance
How to eat a balanced diet on the move?
When travelling, try to maintain your usual dietary rhythm (schedules and composition of meals).
Any ideas for healthy snacks at the office?
Fruits, almonds, nuts, hazelnuts…
Why is it advisable to land for lunch break?
The satiety signal takes at least 20 minutes to arrive from the time you start eating. If you eat too fast, you tend to eat more in quantity, which can have an adverse impact on weight in the long term. Eating too quickly also disrupts digestion and, if you eat too quickly without enjoying the meal, it increases frustration and thus food compulsions.
It is important to learn to understand the nutritional value of a product. This will allow you to differentiate products and make healthier choices. We recently discovered Yuka, an app that allows you to scan your power supply. The principle is simple: evaluate the quality of your purchases to really know what you are eating.
Is there a link between food and productivity?
Of course, of course! A person who eats poorly will be less healthy, more tired, and therefore more likely to get sick. Employee health is a real investment for the company! Promoting good eating habits in your company is an investment in the company’s future productivity.
Nutrition and stress management
What are the best foods to manage stress?
Foods rich in magnesium: starches and whole grains, almonds, nuts and dark chocolate.
Tips for learning to eat with a clear conscience?
First, take your time and have your meal in a pleasant setting. Before starting your meal, take the time to make a nice plate, to soak it up visually, to smell the food. You also have to take the time to chew, to concentrate on your eating sensations, to put the fork between the bites. Avoid eating while watching television or in front of the computer: the human mind is not made to concentrate on two things at the same time! If our attention is focused on a screen, we eat automatically, so faster, we do not enjoy the food pleasure, which ultimately fuels the compulsions.
Some tips for learning to read labels?
In general, I always advise you to choose foods with the shortest possible list of ingredients. Avoid foods whose ingredient list includes products that are not in your cupboards. Avoid also foods containing the mention “hydrogenated fat”, foods containing additives (E followed by a number…). Finally, we must be vigilant about the intake of added sugars.
Junk food, sodas, snacks, meals in front of a screen, in 5 minutes… How to fight your bad eating habits?
First of all by working on his organization (bringing meals to the office to avoid junk food for example). Realizing that our health is our priority and that we shouldn’t sacrifice our lunch break, stopping for a few minutes really allows us to be more productive afterwards. Don’t necessarily stop snacking, but rather replace it with healthy snacks. The solution can also sometimes be to meet a food professional to take stock and easily rebalance your diet according to your needs.
There’s a lot of talk about sugar these days. Why should you eat less sugar and how to do it?
Too much sugar promotes overweight, increases the risk of developing certain diabetes-related diseases, and increases the risk of cavities. In general, sugar is pro-inflammatory, i.e. it promotes inflammation and all associated diseases. You can limit your consumption of added sugar (sugar in coffee for example), replace sodas with sparkling water, avoid as much as possible processed products that are very rich in hidden sugars…
A healthy diet is not about making drastic rules and then relaxing abruptly. To obtain lasting results, it is a question of integrating small habits into everyday life in a harmonious way, without forgetting the pleasure.