3 Diet Strategies for the Office
The weather is becoming warmer in San Francisco, and it’s the time of the year where everyone thinks a little more about their diet! I wanted to share with you 3 honest and practical diet strategies for the office to help you be more aware of your diet. I found these diet strategies useful for when I worked in public & private accounting and I’m confident that you’ll find these resources useful.
1. Prepare your meals
In my experience, I see that most diets fail due to either a lack of motivation, not being disciplined enough to sustain it, or having zero structure. That’s why prepping your meals before work is a great way to combat the urges to eat out during lunch. You can either prep your meals for the week or every few days; whatever is most convenient for you. To maintain food freshness, I prep my meals always a day or two in advanced. By doing this, you will know exactly what you’re eating and what to expect. It prevents you from splurging on cupcakes that a coworker brings to the office because you have now invested time into preparing your meals.
In addition to prepping your meals, it’s helpful to have snacks planned as well! In your office, you’ll probably have a kitchen stored with goodies and snacks. I could imagine the temptation to snack on something every-time you walk to the kitchen to fill up coffee. I am guilty of this! After filling my coffee, I would pour myself a serving (ok a little more than a serving) of Chex Mix. It happens to everyone. However, there are ways to combat these tendencies. On your next trip to the grocery store, be on the lookout for individually packed snacks. These are the type of snacks you will WANT to bring to the office and have stored in your desk because the individual portion sizes are already measured out for you.
“prepping your meals before work is a great way to combat the urges to eat out during lunch.”
2. The Mental Preparation
Ask yourself: Are you fully committed?
When a coworker offers you to have a homemade chocolate caramel cupcake with chocolate icing it’s a little uncomfortable to just say “no thank you”. There isn’t an easy answer for this. At some point you just have to speak up and say no. It’s a scary step at first, but the more you say no to foods that don’t suit your diet, the more your coworkers will start to realize that you’re pretty serious. I was totally that girl in the restaurant that would order a giant salad with dressing on the side, while my coworkers enjoyed any dish they pleased with appetizers. There were some times that were pretty difficult to sit through, but if you take ownership in your goals, being surrounded with food choices that doesn’t fit your diet does become easier.
3. Tracking Macro-nutrients
This can be an entire article of its own, but I wanted to briefly talk about the importance of tracking macro-nutrients. At the end of the day, your body composition is dependent on your diet’s breakdown of calories and macro-nutrients.. Everyone has different caloric/macro needs, so it’s best if you consult with a fitness coach to discuss their recommendations.
Before every meal, I track my food using myfitnesspal, an online free calorie counter diary. The food is weighed out by using a food scale, to ensure accuracy. After completing my daily food entry, it provides me with a summary of carbs, fats, and protein consumed. I don’t recommend you follow any diet you find online exactly. You can follow a similar process, but macros are dependent on the individual’s needs.
There are three primary macro-nutrients that food is made up from:
- Carbohydrates = 4 Calories per gram
- Protein = 4 Calories per gram
- Fats = 9 Calories per gram
*In case you’re wondering alcohol = 7 calories per gram
For those that are new to tracking macro-nutrients, it’s important for you to actually measure out food to see how much you are actually consuming in a day. This may be an eye opener for you because you’ll be surprised how the numbers add up, but it’s helpful information to know. You can start off by purchasing an electronic food scale from Target, Walmart, or Amazon.
One of my favorite things about tracking macro-nutrients, is that it allows me to fit in “cheat” foods as part of my regular diet. For example, if I have hit my required fats and proteins for the day, and I still have some room for some extra carbs in my calorie budget, I’ll gladly pour myself a bowl of my favorite cereal. The key here, is PORTION CONTROL.
“A sample of my macronutrient breakdown for a day. Remember, I am a 126lb 5’2 female, so this is specific to my current needs.”
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Written By: Rachel Bitz
US Accounting Partner