Real women speak: Secrets to healthy eating at work

Sep 15, 2010 at 1:33 p.m. ET

Healthy eating can be easy when you’re at home and not subjected to the temptation that comes from smelling the delicious food your co-workers' are heating up. After all, food cravings are largely responsible for ditching healthy eating routines. For advice on healthy eating at the office, turned to a few fabulous women for their tried and true tips.

Woman eating homemade salad at work

Pack your lunch

"I've always brought my lunch," says Linda, a computer company executive. "I make it the night before so I don't have to worry about preparing it in the morning."

According to researchers, Linda is on the right track. If you plan your workday meals before you go to bed, you'll be less stressed in the morning when you're getting ready (stress hormones can make you feel hungrier throughout the day) and you're more likely to pack a healthful lunch.

Select snacks carefully

Everyone gets a case of the afternoon munchies now and then. How can you cope? Do as Lindsay, an occupational health and safety specialist, does:

"I try my best to load my desk drawers with healthy snacks," says Lindsay. "There are so many great, low-fat options on the market now. From smaller bags of baked potato chips to granola bars to nuts, I've got a little bit of everything stashed in my own at work food hideaway."

Lindsay may be onto something. Studies have shown that if you're prepared for hunger pains—or those moments when co-workers bring in sweet treats—the less likely you'll be to dig into something that's unhealthy for you. Create your own fully loaded desk-side pantry and you'll definitely stay on a healthy eating path at work.

Be smart about eating out

"I work in an industry where lunches and dining out are customary," says Susan, a marketing and advertising specialist, "which is why I make it a habit to order appetizers instead of big meals. I also try to cut back on the nibbling and breakfast foods I eat on the days I know I'm going out. I'll swap higher-fat nuts for low-fat fruit, or a whole wheat bagel for oatmeal."

If you're in an industry like Susan's, you'll want to take note. She's doing everything she can to curb cravings or binging at the office. She's also learned how to balance eating out while noshing on some of her favorite foods the rest of the day. Do as she does and your heart and waistline will thank you!

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