Nutritionist reveals the ideal meal plan for office workers

Why you should follow the ‘desk diet’: The best meal plans for 9-5 office workers – and the foods to banish afternoon cravings for good

  • Office work can often lead to sedentary days and boredom-fuelled snacking 
  • But with the right knowledge, it’s possible to avoid the temptation to eat junk
  • Weight loss can be achieved if workers swap sugary treats for nutritious snacks

Thousands of weary Australian office workers struggle to stick to a healthy diet, with many of them succumbing to pesky afternoon cravings every day.   

But according to nutritionist Susie Burrell, the ‘desk diet’ could be the key to a slimmer waistline and more energy just in time for the summer months. 

‘You need to create an environment that’s conducive to weight control because people have the best of intentions,’ she told Sunrise.

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According to nutritionist Susie Burrell, weight loss is still possible if workers choose to curb their sugary cravings for more nutritious snacks while at work

Among her top tips are ridding your work space of foods which have a high caloric or carbohydrate content. 

Susie also recommended these be replaced with protein-rich hard boiled eggs, dipping celery or carrot sticks in hummus and or a serving of Greek yoghurt.

In total she recommends a meal plan that involves snacking four or five times each work day. 

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Nutritionist Susie Burrell (pictured) also recommends ridding your work space of foods which have a high caloric or carbohydrate content

How can you improve your health at work? 

Take lunch seriously: When we do not consume a well-balanced meal 4-5 hours at most after breakfast we leave ourselves vulnerable to low blood glucose levels and overeating later in the day. This means that a quick sushi roll or fruit salad just won’t cut it. Ideally we need some carbs, protein and veges or salad by 2pm at the very latest ideally enjoyed away from the desk.

Stand up more: In addition to the lack of general movement, the other significant factor driving office weight gain is the extended number of hours we spend sitting. If your job requires you to spend many hours sitting at a desk, it may be time to consider a standing desk such as Varidesk. Not only do you burn almost double the calories per hour standing than you do sitting can also be of benefit to your neck, hip and back long term.

Get away from your desk: Not only are we not mindful of what we are eating and more likely to overeat later when we eat in front of a screen, but it also means we feed into further inactivity and grab quick meals on the run which are not necessarily nutritionally balanced. 

And while leftovers can be a great way to save both money and time, workers should be careful with how they are re-heated.

‘What you can do is over heat food and this can tend to destroy a significant amount of the nutrition,’ Susie said. 

‘The best quality (of food) is always initially which is why at work the best things to bring is salads or things you can keep in the fridge – things you don’t have to reheat or necessarily over re-heat.’ 

This can equate to the destructive of up to 97 per cent of the food’s nutritional value.  

Another top tip is to bring your own utensils to the workplace, a move that will encourage portion control and hygiene among colleagues. 

Carbohydrate-dense snacks should be replaced with dipping celery or carrot sticks in hummus and enjoying a serving of Greek yoghurt

Writing on her blog, Susie also recommends avoiding ‘feeders’ in the office where possible. 

‘Every office has them, the seemingly well-meaning individuals who make it their job to make sure everyone else eats extra cakes, biscuits and treats they do not really want or need,’ she said. 

‘Sure, there is nothing wrong with making a cake occasionally but feeders are the ones who bring in food every other day; who organise food based events and who take the chocolate or cake around to everyone’s desk at 3 or 4pm.

‘Like the office gossip that you too remain wary off, keep well away from the office feeder.’

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