Are you still battling the excess pounds from your holiday feasting? I know I am. Everyone makes the resolution to get in shape for the new year and it’s about this time that most of us give up. Hopefully, this column will keep you motivated.
Snacking is a big part of creating a healthy lifestyle and the majority of my snacking happens when I’m at work. Unfortunately, if I come unprepared and I’m craving something small, I will go to a vending machine and buy a chocolate bar or a bag of chips. But doing this daily adds not only to your dress size but also to your wallet.
“Bringing your own food to work is the best way to control portion size and hidden calories from fat and sugar. When you make your own food you know what’s going in it,” says Lisa Weinberg, a registered dietician and nutritionist.
“For instance, rather than buying a sandwich on a large bun loaded with mayonnaise you can make a wrap at home and bring it for lunch.”
Yes, I know the common excuse — time. We all lead busy lives and prepping lunch and snacks takes time, but the results are worth it. “Many people think it takes too much time and planning to take your own food to work. But it doesn’t have to be. Leftovers are great for lunch.”
Weinberg suggests making it a part of your dinner routine. For example, when you’re preparing dinner in the evening make extra and bring it to work the next day. If you’re making a stir-fry, cook a few extra chicken breasts so you can add it to a salad one day and make a sandwich with it another day.
“A lot of young professionals want to save money, and when you bring your own food to work it is less expensive than buying your lunch. As well, starting young will help set good habits for the future.”
According to Weinberg, workplaces such as Borden Ladner Gervias and Motorola Canada are responding to their employees desire to learn more about nutrition. They are implementing workshops such as Hot Nutrition Trends from LifeSpeak (www.lifespeak.ca), a company that designs customized in-house workshops to respond to this demand.
Aimee Israel, CEO of LifeSpeak and former Bay Street corporate lawyer says, “At the outset of their careers, young professionals are often working very long hours and a key to their success is maintaining their resiliency to thrive in their new role. Healthy eating is a key component to sustain their energy throughout a long work day.”
What about those cravings? Weinberg suggests avoiding simple carbs like food with white flour, such as cookies, because this will make you tired. Instead reach for foods with fibre and protein.