Demanding bosses, an out-of-control workload and impossible deadlines can leave us feeling stressed and tired, with the result that we are more likely to skip breakfast or lunch and grab high-calorie snack foods to cheer ourselves up and give us a much needed injection of energy.
It is common that after a tiring day at work, we simply do not want to spend the remaining energy in putting together a home-cooked meal. The result: we resort to ready meals or order a takeaway. Another thing that often happens is, spending late nights at office or simply being exhausted would mean ditching our usual routine of exercise and we end up slouching on the sofa in front of the TV.
Here’s what you can do if you want to watch your diet:
- Make use of calorie counter apps to tell you how many calories you can consume each day. Decide on the breakfast, lunch and dinner the previous night or make a menu plan every week-end or even pre-plan this every month.
- You can eat energy-bars, small treats to make up for the extra calories if you have a high daily calorie allowance.
- Along with your meals and snacks, allow some amount of calories for a cup of milk either as such or as coffee or tea.
- Add extra salad or veg to meals to help fill you up.
On an elaborate note, these are few points that must be kept in mind.
- Eat healthy foods that are easily and readily available at home and at work. Keep a good stock of easy-to-eat raw vegetables (baby carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes), fruits (apples, bananas, oranges), nuts/dry-fruits. You can either make or buy a small amount of hummus each week for an energy-packed protein dip for your carrots and cucumbers. Ditch that pisang goring/muffin/cookie for these yummy stuff. Now when you are tired and hungry and looking for a quick snack, these will help!
- Prepare meals before you leave for work or the previous night, so they are ready to eat when you get home. You could try using the crock pot/slow cooker which can cook foods over a long period of time or try freezing portion sizes of your favourite healthy meals for easy access when you don’t have time to cook.
- Pack your lunch box every single day: This way, you are very much likely to eat fresh, healthy food and this is certainly better than eating food from restaurants or take away counters.
- Small, frequent meals as opposed to large heavy ones. Heavy meals are usually loaded with calories, more than what you will need for one meal. You might start feeling sluggish or tired during office hours.
- Try to eat in line with a regular day. It is hard to stick to a regular diet if you eat very late at night or throughout a shift.
- Sit down to eat. Eat at a relaxed pace. Eating your food while on-the-go or when sitting in front of a computer or the TV encourages mindless snacking and you don’t realise when you are actually full.
- Moderate your caffeine consumption. Limit caffeine intake four to five hours before the end of your shift (caffeine stays in your body for many hours) to help your body wind down for home and relaxation.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Your body often signals hunger and thirst in the same way. Bring a water bottle to work and fill it often. Not only will you save money on bottled drinks, but you will be helping your body as well. Infuse your water with fruit or a citrus slice for an added flavour boost without the calories.
National Sleep Foundation
Weight Loss Resources
by Hridya Anand
A biochemist by education who could never put what she studied to good use, finally found GetDoc as a medium to do what she loved - bring information to people using a forum that is dedicated to all things medical. View all articles by Hridya Anand.