All About Coffee Fitness

8 tips for FUELING your body right during long-work hours

Working long hours often leaves your body strapped for fuel. After double-digit hours of working, you’re going to need some energy and nutrients to help you keep going strong. However, this is a lot harder at work than it is at home. You can’t prepare food on demand and you probably won’t have tons of time to pick and choose what you eat. This is why it’s helpful to stick to some healthy eating guidelines while you’re at work. Here are 8 TIPS FOR FUELING YOUR BODY RIGHT DURING LONG-WORK HOURS and I hope you find some useful tips applicable to your work-schedule.

8 TIPS FOR FUELING YOUR BODY RIGHT DURING LONG-WORK HOURS



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1.      Never skip breakfast


The worst mistake you could make first thing in the morning is to skip breakfast. It’s not called the most important meal of the day for nothing. You need your morning boost of energy and nutrients to be able to get through the whole day. This is especially true if you have a long workday ahead of you. A hearty meal will keep you full and pave the way for conquering all of your daily business challenges.

Why is it that people skip this crucial meal first thing in the morning? There are lots of factors at play here. Getting ready for work takes up a lot of their time, making it difficult to cook up a hearty meal while you’re in the middle of preparations. However, this is hardly a valid excuse. You don’t have to create a three-course meal to have a good breakfast.  While you’re waiting for your morning coffee, you could easily make a quick snack that would satisfy your nutritional needs. Even something as simple as a sandwich would suffice, as long as you toss some veggies in it. On the other hand, cooking up a small meal shouldn’t be difficult either.

Your breakfast meal goals should include a meal that is chock-full of calories, protein, and healthy carbs. These elements will help give you the fuel you need to get through a productive day at work. Missing out on breakfast leaves you feeling groggy and tired as the day starts. Only having your coffee when you head out the door will leave you susceptible to a mid-morning sugar crash. Stick to your morning breakfast routine and try your best to get as many calories out of it as possible.

2.      Avoid eliminating food


Staying healthy can sometimes mean reducing your intake of calories. This often means eating fewer meals throughout the day and getting rid of certain foods in your diet. However, this is a double-edged sword way of looking at it. Cutting your meals and eating less food can have some very negative effects on your energy levels and productivity. Still, you have to reduce the number of calories in your meals to slim down a bit. Balancing your weight loss while still getting necessary nutrients is tough, but it’s still manageable without removing any meals.

You would be much better off simply looking at your caloric intake. As long as you keep your number of calories low, you’re going to be able to lose weight with ease. You can start by reducing the portion sizes of your meals. Instead of eating three square meals per day, you can choose to stick to a five meal per day plan. These meals would be smaller in terms of portions, but they would add up to slightly lower calories. This would allow you to lose weight while also getting the nutrients you need. Plus, you would rarely, if ever, go hungry for longer periods of time.

The type of food you eat is even more important when it comes to keeping caloric intake low. You want to be able to reach your daily recommended amount of protein, fat, carbs, and vitamins without overdoing the calories. Luckily, there are tons of foodstuffs that are very rich in nutrients, while still being on the lower side of calories. For your breakfast needs, you might want to consider oats, seeds, and various types of berries. Chia seeds are known to be extremely healthy while containing a minimal number of calories. You can mix them up with some oats and milk and make yourself a healthy custom cereal. Throw in some berries for some vitamins and extra taste and you’re pretty much set to go.

3.      Stay hydrated



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When you’re going to the office lounge for your snacks, make sure you also grab a glass of water on the way. It’s something that can help keep the cravings at bay. Staying hydrated is a very important part of our diets. It can have some positive effects on your cravings and productivity.

The way water affects our cravings isn’t very well understood. When you’re slightly dehydrated, your body can’t really tell the difference between thirst and hunger. You’re going to have stronger than average cravings for something to munch on, even though what you really want is water. This can cause you to eat salty and crunchy foods which further help to cause dehydration. It’s a cycle that will leave you feeling hungry even after bags of snacks.

Any time you’re feeling somewhat famished, start by drinking a cold glass of water. It will help reduce any cravings you have and it’ll keep you hydrated. Get in the habit of drinking a glass of water from time to time and you’re going to see some positive effects come from it. When properly hydrated, you have more energy and your skin and hair start looking healthier. Plus, you won’t have trouble waiting it out until lunchtime comes around.

4.      Avoid liquid calories


Speaking of liquids that people drink during their work shifts, sodas have become a prominent drink in many workplaces. Since vending machines offer them for cheap prices and they’re pretty tasty, they’re some of the first drinks people reach for during their break. While they might be refreshing, sodas and fizzy drinks are some of the unhealthiest drinks you can have at the office. They’re barely a step below drinking alcohol at work.

This is because sodas contain excessive amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners. Neither are particularly good for your body or your appetite. A large amount of sugar will give you a spike in blood sugar and cause a crash after a short while, leaving you sleepy and unmotivated for work. Plus, they contain tons of calories with nearly no nutritional value. You might as well be eating a glass of sugar by drinking them.

Switching to low-sugar versions of soft drinks doesn’t help much, either. Artificial sweeteners can cause issues of their own. If you aren’t used to drinking them, they can simulate sugar a little too well for your body. Since our taste buds are connected to our digestive systems, artificial sweeteners can stimulate the production of insulin by mimicking the taste of sugar. This brings us right back to the sugar crash from sugar-filled sodas. Whichever one you choose to drink; it’s going to keep you tired and wishing you could go home and rest.

If possible, try your best to replace soft drinks with any other kind of liquid. Everything from coffee to electrolyte-heavy drinks would suffice. If you want to avoid caffeine, you should stick to herbal teas. They will help you relax while also giving you something to sip on.

5.      Sneak in some exercise


When you’re sitting at your desk for hours on end, it can take its toll on your body. Your neck starts to tense up and your back isn’t doing any better. Spending hours seated at a desk is the main cause of professional injuries in office environments. Your neck and back aren’t the only parts of your body that suffer from lack of mobility at work.

Constantly being seated also affects your digestion. Sedentary work environments don’t allow you to properly utilize sugar and calories during the eight or nine hours you spend at the office. Even after eating, your body will quickly release hunger hormones and cause cravings. This is something that you need to change if you want to keep your nutrition on a regular routine.

Introducing a little movement to your workday can help stimulate your digestive system and help delay any cravings. You don’t have to hit the gym on your lunch break, either. You can have a relaxing walk or run around the block and that would be more than enough to stimulate a healthy appetite.

Alternatively, you could always dedicate around fifteen minutes to half an hour to some actual workouts. Many modern offices have workout areas for employees where they can do their daily exercise routines. Yoga has been shown to relax employees and better prepare them for the rest of the workday. The light and relaxing exercises help stimulate your appetite without breaking a sweat. Best of all, you only really need a yoga mat to perform these exercises, so you don’t have to worry about bringing a gym bag.

6.      Munch on healthy snacks


While you’re supposed to wait for your main meals to start eating, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a bite to eat in-between meals. When you’re bored, it’s natural that you’re going to want to reach for a snack while you pass the time. However, you can’t let this snacking get out of hand. If you have a penchant for grabbing a bag of potato chips at the office vending machine, you might want to keep the snacking to a minimum. Unhealthy junk food won’t sate your hunger and they will add unnecessary calories to your daily intake.

It’s important that you choose the right kind of healthy snacks to munch on while you work. Avoid snacks that are heavily processed and filled with sugar. You need something that will fill the craving for snacks while also providing you with extra energy to keep you working diligently.

If you want to avoid eating too many calories from snacking, you could always grab some crackers with cheese to munch on. They’re pretty much weightless, but give a very satisfying crunch while you’re eating them. They’re also pretty low on calories, which would make them the ideal snack of choice for losing weight.

On the other hand, you might be looking to get some extra nutrients to go with your pre-lunch snacks. This is where lots of nuts and seeds can come in handy. Almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts are tasty and healthy alternative snacks that pack quite the punch. Just a handful of any of these is enough to sate any snack craving, while also providing you with some brain food that will stimulate creativity. Not to mention, nuts are chock-full of protein, giving them an edge when it comes to providing you with these muscle-building nutrients.

7.      Have a hearty meal with you



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While breakfast is considered the most important meal, you shouldn’t disregard your other meals, either. Lunch is one of those meals that are always caught in limbo when you’re at work. For many dedicated professionals and entrepreneurs, it’s always a choice between having a strong breakfast or hearty lunch. The ideal situation would allow you to have both on the same day. However, how do you find the time to make two meals in the morning before you prepare for work?

In most cases, making two meals isn’t very feasible. However, that doesn’t mean you have to skip out on breakfast or lunch. There are other alternatives for your lunchtime needs. There’s a reason that work gives you a long lunch break in the middle of the day. It gives you ample time to think of where and how you’re going to eat for lunch. Employees often choose to eat out during this time or grab a snack that they’ve brought with them.

Bringing something that doesn’t require much preparation is a great way to enjoy lunch while also leaving the rest of your break open for relaxation. However, what do you choose to bring with you? Go for something small and nutritious, while still keeping it tasty. Some people make mixes of fruits and nuts before they head off to work. It’s quick and easy to make, plus you can carry it around without worrying that it will go bad or spill. Just put it in a small plastic container and you’re good to go.

An even simpler nutritious solution would be to make yourself a protein powder mix while you’re at work. All you need to do is mix the powder with some milk while you’re in the office kitchen and you have yourself a nutritious and healthy meal. The type of protein you choose is up to you. Some people prefer to consume protein that is rich in fiber and vitamins. Others will look to True Protein for powders that help build mass. There are different powders that serve different purposes, but they all provide tons of nutritional value. It’s the equivalent of a complete meal, without the inconvenience of making one at work.

8.      Stick to a routine


Most people don’t really pay much mind to when they eat. However, this can be almost as important as what you eat. Eating is kind of like sleep. Your body would prefer it to be on a schedule. Eating regularly allows your body to adapt and secrete digestive enzymes more efficiently. It’s something to keep in mind when you decide to eat at work.

Some jobs allow you several long breaks in between sessions and projects. This will give you ample opportunities to eat. However, you should try your best to stick to a routine for your meals. If you’re used to eating breakfast and lunch at certain times of the day, it wouldn’t hurt to maintain this rhythm. This is because productivity tends to drop right after we’ve eaten. Your body diverts blood to your digestive system to help better break down the food. If you’re used to having your productive peak at certain times of the day, switching up your eating habits could negatively affect them. The low points from eating might cancel out a part of your productivity and make you feel sluggish.

Any change that you introduce to your diet needs to be turned into a routine. Whenever you decide to keep a diet, it needs to become part of your regular day-to-day life. The main reason why certain kinds of diets fail is that people reach their goals and then stop adhering to them. The way you treat your nutrition at work needs to be consistent, or else you’re just going to go back to the way you ate before. If you want to make changes, you have to be prepared to stick to them permanently.

Conclusion


Keeping a healthy diet while at work is a lot harder than it looks. When you’re working long hours every day, you will rarely find the motivation to look out for good nutritional habits. However, it’s something that can have a very big influence on your productivity and energy levels. This is why it’s important that you consider some of these pointers before heading off to work. With the right attitude and habits, you can make proper work nutrition a breeze to stick to. I hope you liked the 8 tips for fueling your body right during long-work hours.

About the author

Praveen Rajarao

Praveen Rajarao is an Entrepreneur and in his spare time blogs on his website –http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com and http://www.pbgeeks.com. His topics range from blogging to technology to affiliate programs and making money online and how-to guides. Daily Morning Coffee is also accepting Guest Posts from Professional Bloggers at this time, take a look at “Write For DMC” page for more details on the same.

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  • Hey Pravin, as always you have shared useful tips for good health. Sitting at one place for long working hours damages the body and makes it stiff. These important tips are extremely beneficial to keep in mind. I will definitely try and implement it in my daily routine.

  • Hey Praveen,

    We know very well that eating breakfast is crucial to weight management.

    I used to think that by skipping breakfast, I was limiting the calories I was eating, but unfortunately that backfired on me regularly.

    By the time lunch came along, I was starving! I would end up eating more calories in one meal than I would with two healthy meals.

    I find that by eating breakfast, I am much more productive with my mornings.

    Eventually, thanks for exploring these healthy tips for us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar Kumar

  • I NEED breakfast in the morning. There’s a lot of people that say that intermittent fasting (not eating for the first 4-8 hours of the day) helps with your energy levels, but I’ve found that I feel terrible if I don’t have my breakfast. I’ve also found that I start to feel lightheaded and get headaches if I’m not drinking a lot of water. So I always make sure to eat (a light) breakfast in the morning, and to constantly remain hydrated. As in REALLY hydrated. Otherwise I find I crash. That’s just my own personal experience though.

    Thank you for the great post, Praveen!
    Gerry Hustle recently posted…The 29-Minute Morning Routine To Dominate Your Day (5 Easy Steps)My Profile

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