Work Stress & Dieting

A reader suggested that I post an article on work stress and under-eating. I think this is a great idea especially since every article under the sun references over-eating or poor diet altogether.

When it comes to work there is typically one culprit that can lead to under-eating: time, or lack thereof. Let’s be honest, your work can be filled with meetings, deadlines,  tight schedules that offset personal life,etc. Work is the one place where you’re putting yourself last  in order to meet everyone elses’ expectations. If this is your case I have one word for you: simplicity. Start bringing food that’s easily portable and easy to eat. On this front you’re going to face a challenge in the sense that healthier foods tend to not be portable. Think about it: you may have ordered a salad at the drive through but have you ever tried eating it behind the wheel?  Yeah, portable and healthy  don’t really go hand in hand.

For maximum portability however, I still resort to sandwiches. Why? you can eat them with one hand while checking email, scrolling down a webpage, etc. You just have to be a bit snobby about the ingredients that you put in there. Men’s Health Magazine has pretty good suggestions on what you can throw in to your noon nosh-bag Check it out here.

Aside from sandwiches, snacks that are protein dense are handy to have around around one my personal favorites is Perky Jerky. I’ve written about this snack before and have no problem recommending it to pretty much everyone. If you’re looking to go a little leaner with your snacking I recommend their Turkey Jerky which has a great protein to fat ratio. Check out the previous article here.

Cheese. That’s right I’m recommending cheese. There are a lot of hot debates about dairy and animal products. But if you’re looking for something with a decent satiety factor, I’m gonna throw it out there and say you can indulge with your snacking and go with cheese from time to time. There is nothing wrong with the string cheese standby. You can definitely go with other cheeses but be sure to avoid over indulging with cheeses that are higher in saturated fat and calories.

Lastly, nuts. No surprise here. Nuts typically contain the healthy poly and monounsaturated fats that are associated with heart health. I’m partial to cashews, walnuts, and almonds. I feel like almonds hog all the lime light though, only because they get so much press. When it comes to choosing which nuts always opt for the raw ones. Honey roasted and other varieties degrade the nutritional profile of nuts due to the processing.

Last but not least, how do you fit all of this into your workday? If you’ve got big responsibilities and have some latitude with your schedule, be sure to separate at least ten or fifteens here and there to get your nutrition on. If you’re not in a position to alter your schedule, sort out your priorities and decide what’s really on a deadline and what your turning into a deadline. You may find that prioritizing might not only help your work flow, but your dietetic goals as well.


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  • P

    Great article Andy – I also find hard boiled eggs a help but you’re too right; healthy food isn’t necessarily fast but there are options. Thx