by Lisa Bruno
Monday through Friday is like Groundhog Day, but worse, because its five days a week and it’s monotonous, daily tasks you cannot avoid—waking up to your alarm, rushing to get ready, hustling to work, and then meetings, conference calls and a vast amount of other semi-enjoyable, semi-annoying activities and interactions for the week. The last thing on your mind is what am I going to eat all day?
But actually, it should be the first thing on your mind.
Your energy level throughout the day is predicated on what you are consuming during the hours you are awake. This includes drinks, meals, and snacks. What you choose, determines how your body is going to support you when you are running from back to back meetings, trying to strategize on a project, or be patient with co-workers.
We put together an hour-by-hour game plan on how to stay fueled throughout the workday. Give yourself the challenge on keeping up with it for one week and report back. We are confident you’ll feel more energized, and probably feel leaner!
Morning Jump Start – 9:00am to 10:00am
Breakfast is important. While you do not have to eat immediately when you wake up, but within two hours of rising it is important fuel your body after a long nights sleep. Stash some instant oatmeal at your desk. We recommend Kashi Heart to Heart Oatmeal, it has 5-grams of Fiber as well as 5-grams of Protein. All you need is hot water, which you can get from your office kitchen area, along with a throw away cup and spoon. Voila you have breakfast!
All Day – Starting After Breakfast
Drink water. Far too often we confuse hunger with actual thirst, and sometimes even dehydration. If you are even slight dehydrated, you’ll have a drop in your energy level. While you are at your desk or in a meeting, sip on water. Keep a water bottle at your desk, we recommend bkr bottles, because they do not contain any BPA, they are glass, and they look pretty darn cool. You can grab one at our studios!
Lunch Time Munches – 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Bring Your Own Lunch. No one talks about the BYOL concept, but they should. You eat better, and you save money. It is a win-win. Here are our quick and easy ways to build your own BYOL whether you like salads, sandwiches, or a combination of the two. Full disclosure: none of these lunches take more than 8-minutes to put together.
|Salads:Choose 1 – 2-cups:
|Sandwiches:Choose a bread:
Choose a protein/healthy fat:
Choose a complimentary fruit or vegetable:
Avoid the Afternoon Slump – 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Take a break and get some fresh air. Studies have shown that a short, 10-minute walk not only elevates your energy, but it has lasting effects, for up to two-hours. Especially in the warm weather, treat yourself to a stroll and bring a work buddy, you might just be able to ‘talk shop’ and be productive too!
Snack Time – 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Designate a drawer for health. Create one drawer in your desk, your healthy, safe haven of food. There are two periods in your work day that hangry can potentially set in. And let me define hangry for you – the moment you are so hungry, you are angry. This drawer should be filled with a combination of whole grain snacks, think 100-calorie packs of SkinnyPop. Unlike other popcorns, Skinny Pop includes the whole kernel so it is a whole grain, also there is nothing added artificial, so it is all-natural, and gluten-free. Plus it’ll satisfy the savory need we all have when we eat.
There are always more tips to share, but if you start here, everything else will fall into place. You might even find yourself so satisfied that you avoid the co-worker with candy on their desk or that 5-hour old bagel leftover from a meeting (wink, wink).
Lisa Bruno is the co-founder and director of business development at Work it Out Fitness Studios<http://www.workitoutgym.com> in Hoboken. Bruno is an avid fitness and nutrition enthusiast (and has been since a very young age). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Food & Nutrition and is currently pursuing her certification as a Registered Dietitian.