Drink More Water
Dehydration is often subtle but can lead to fatigue, brain fog, and hunger pains. Aim for at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Always carry a large water bottle with you and set reminders in your calendar to drink. If you prefer something with flavor, try an infuser bottle or drop a couple of frozen juice cubes in. Keep sugar-sweetened and “diet” beverages to a bare minimum.
Sometimes you must work later than planned or an unexpected issue has you working through lunch. You can’t anticipate every scenario, but you can reduce your chances of making unhealthy choices (e.g., the vending machine) by being prepared. Keep some healthy bars or non-perishable snacks in your desk. Choose items that contain a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Bars with at least five grams of protein, single-serving packs of nuts, or protein powders are great options.
Focus on a Balanced Plate
Lunch meetings and conferences can be difficult because you do not always have control over the food options. You do, however, have control over what you choose from the offerings. Review what is available, then aim for half your meal to be vegetables or salad, one quarter to be protein, and one quarter to be carbohydrates. If there are little to no vegetables available, substitute with fruit or increase the protein portion.
Are you hungry or just stressed, bored, or tired? Were you distracted when you were eating? Allow yourself time to mentally register how much you have consumed. Take a few minutes to enjoy your food. Not only will you feel more satisfied with less food, but you’ll also give your brain a few minutes to unwind, allowing you to be more focused when you return to work.