7 Steps to Workday Eating
 

7 Steps to Workday Eating

By Puja Disha Bharwani
India’s smartest workers start with a critical tool for productivity — their refrigerator. India @Work looks at seven secrets to optimise your food planning for better focus in the office

When you reach home after a 10-hour work day and a lengthy commute, all you want is a hot shower and some serious couch time over a bag of masala chips or a chilli cheese toast. But proceed with caution at the fridge door; increasingly, what we eat and when we eat it has implications for our moods and energy levels. 

For Tejal, a 38-year-old creative professional from Mumbai, home-cooked meals stored in her fridge are crucial to her nutritional needs. “It helps to have a good quality fridge to keep food healthier and tastier for longer periods of time in our warm climate,” she says.

Health coach Sujata Din confirms the importance of food to your state of mind. “If your diet is high in refined sugars or processed foods like white bread, cookies, pastries and Indian sweets, it can result in highs and lows during the work day and can affect your performance and sleep,” she notes.

Keeping this in mind, Sujata suggests these fridge-focused strategies to eat and work smarter:

1. Cook once, eat twice

Cook on Sunday with your fresh groceries, then double the portions, so that you can have dinner ready for the next day.

2. Stock sleep-inducing foods

Since sleep is affected by our diet, it is important to stock the fridge with the right food, that naturally helps us sleep better. For instance, a glass of milk, bananas, nuts or eggs can be great sleep enhancers. Need more ideas? Check out specific snack tips, like low-fat cottage cheese with whole grain pita chips.

3. Prepare ahead

During the weekend, shop effectively and smartly for your week ahead. Try to plan meals, at least for breakfast and lunch, to improve your focus and alertness at work.

4. Health up front

Try to stock both your fridge and freezer with healthier foods in front, allowing you to make better meal or snack choices, which will help to keep your energy levels in check.

5. Booster snacks

Stock up on energy bars, fresh fruit and nuts for your desk, to ensure that you can balance your energy levels throughout the day.

6. Ghar Ka Khanna (food from home)

Eating out is generally less healthy, as the meals tend to be higher in fat, sugar and salt. In contrast, when cooking at home, we tend to favor higher quality ingredients and less oil, with more awareness of portion sizes, allowing us to take charge of our health and sleep.

7. Step off the rollercoaster

Where possible, control your sugar and caffeine intake. Each contributes to tiredness and moodiness, and can also result in cravings for more sugar, carbohydrates or stimulants.