Work and diet: eating healthier at the office


In cooperation with Dimitris Grigorakis, Clinical Nutritionist-Dietician, MSc Scientific Director of the Dietetic Support & Metabolic Control Centre APISXNANSIS - LOGO DIATROFIS, President of the Hellenic Nutritionists Society,,,


Increased working hours can affect our dietary habits in a negative way, since we rarely devote time to cook and supply our refrigerator with food. Thus, most working individuals tend to be in a fasting state (abstain from food) for many hours during the day, eat once a day usually late at night, and consume ready-to-eat meals (fast food). These meals are usually high in fat, calories and salt, and at the same time low in essential nutrients. If you also take into consideration the reduced physical activity level due to lack of time, then the weakening of your immune system and weight gain come as no surprise.

However, by applying the following simple dietary advice at your workplace you can stock your body with valuable nutrients and effectively regulate your body weight. These tips are easy to follow, and will help you constantly supply your body with energy and all necessary nutrients. - Consume frequent and small meals and avoid being in a fasting state for more than three hours. - Start your day with a nutritious breakfast (e.g. milk with whole grain cereals, rusks with honey and soft margarine or toast with cheese and whole grain bread). - Make sure to have healthy snacks at your workplace (e.g. low-fat yogurt with nuts, whole grain cereal bars, rye cream crackers with cheese, etc.) which are rich in calcium, dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates, therefore contributing to an increased satiety and a decreased dietary fat intake. - Some examples of highly nutritious snacks include sandwiches with rye bread, vegetables and tuna or chicken or cheese and turkey, salads with cheese, legumes or pasta with olive oil and without mayonnaise or other fat-rich sauces. - If you are not able to eat home-made food then the ready-to-eat meals that you choose should be low in fat and rich in dietary fiber. It would also be wise to accompany these meals with raw or boiled vegetables, in order to get all the important vitamins and valuable antioxidants they contain. - Consume fresh juices from fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk and enough water (1.5-2 liters / day), which contribute to your hydration and the excretion of toxins and waste products from your body and help control your body weight.

Last but not least, dedicate some of your free time for physical activity, in order to prevent a sedentary lifestyle (which is associated with many pathological conditions), and have more strength, energy and a good mood at your workplace and your life in general.

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2. Matthias B. Schulze, Teresa T. Fung, JoAnn E. Manson, Walter C. Willett and Frank B. Hu Dietary Patterns and Changes in Body Weight in Women Obesity (2006) 14, 1444–1453.