While your office may have already jumped on the boardroom yoga bandwagon, if you’re still ordering pizza for team lunches and sugar-laden pastries for morning meetings, then your approach to corporate wellness is far from complete.
Creating healthy eating habits at work goes beyond #cleaneating or fad diets. To promote positive change in the way your employees eat, there needs to be a cultural shift in the workplace that starts with support from management and team leaders who are eager to set a good example.
Here’s how to make a seamless transition to eating healthy in the workplace:
Talk about it
Let your team know that you’re making some positive changes to food options in the office and explain why. Strictly enforcing new eating habits won’t work – everyone needs to get on board and see the changes as a good idea. Starting by highlighting the benefits of the new program, such as increased energy, more focus, and a clearer mind will make participants more likely to embrace the new changes.
Do it together
Eating healthy at work will take a shift in the behaviors of the entire team. It is a whole lot harder to eat well on your own, so banding together is the best way to see long-lasting results. Encourage one another to make healthy choices and keep colleagues accountable by checking in regularly. Share recipes and tips, as well as promoting at home meal prep.
Choose snacks wisely
If you’ve got cookies and brownies on hand in the office, chances are you’ll hit a slump at 3 pm as your blood sugar drops and go in search of an afternoon pick me up. When you have unhealthy snacks in the break room, these will be your first target. Get rid of all sugary foods and replace them with fresh fruit platters, mixed nuts or chia pods. Check out these ideas for healthy catering options via Food Geek. If all you can find when you’re hungry is healthy food, you’ll be more likely to eat it and over time you’ll unknowingly be developing a habit that is easy to stick to.
The next time you organize catering for a team meeting or work function, choose a healthy option. Healthy foods no longer have to be boring and many food delivery services now cater for a range of dietary requirements including gluten free, vegetarian and dairy free. Go for vibrant and colorful poke bowls, or choose some hearty salads over sandwiches and wraps.
Mindfulness is known for its productivity-enhancing and mood-boosting properties, but it’s equally important to incorporate mindfulness when making changes to your diet. Encourage the team to step away from their desks during lunchtime to promote mindful eating. When you are distracted or rushed while eating, you are more likely to make poor food choices. Start a movement to help the team reclaim their lunch break instead of working through until the afternoon, and they’ll return to their desks feeling refreshed and focused.
Make sure filtered water is easily and readily available at all times. Keep water visible to remind people to drink throughout the day. We tend to forget to drink water when we’re busy so post signs around the office and give your colleagues a little nudge when you think they may have forgotten.