Do Diet

6 ways to boost your energy at work

Say goodbye to lacklustre lunches, mid-afternoon crashes—and feel energized from 9 to 5.
6 ways to boost your energy at work


Do Eat Well from 9 to 5

Go big at breakfast

Always head off to work with a full stomach. Designating brekkie as your largest meal not only fills you up but also helps with weight management, says research from Virginia Commonwealth University, because it gives you more time to burn those calories throughout the day. Make the most of it by going for foods that release energy into your bloodstream slowly, like steel-cut oats with nuts and berries or whole-grain toast with eggs, says Tristaca Curley, a registered dietitian in Kelowna, B.C. Or try Chatelaine Kitchen's egg & toast tartlets.

7:11 a.m.: The optimal time to eat breakfast for weight loss, according to a recent survey.

Egg & Toast TartletsEgg & Toast Tartlets. Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Drink so you can think

Hitting a wall? Look no farther than your water bottle for a boost. “Steadily sipping water optimizes energy and keeps cravings at bay,” says Curley. She recommends roughly 1.5 to 2 L between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can hit that target with one of these tricks:

DRINK a glass of water every time you eat — and go through another between meals and snacks too.

DIVIDE your water bottle into sections. Slide two hair elastics on a 750-mL bottle to make three distinct sections. Try to get through one section every hour.

DOWNLOAD apps like Waterlogged, iDrated or Water Daily that motivate and remind you to drink throughout the day.

Drink water for energy at workPhoto, Masterfile.

Set activity alerts

Here’s a reason to not sit down on the job: People aged 45 and over who sit uninterrupted for 11 hours or more each day have as much as a 40 percent greater risk of dying in the next three years than those who sit for less than four, reveals a study in Archives of Internal Medicine. Try setting a timer on your phone to prompt you to move every 30 minutes. We love apps like Healthier, which encourages you to take mini exercise breaks. For more incentive, consider this: A 15-minute walk every day adds 75 minutes of exercise to your weekly routine.

Fitness ball office chair© Masterfile Royalty-Free

Pack the right-sized snack

Meet your match, snack attacks. Pre-portioning helps conquer mindless munching. Buy a reusable container in a 1/2-cup serving size to eliminate the guesswork of measuring out snacks, says Curley. Fill it with combos of nuts and dried fruit, or halfway with nut butter or hummus, then throw an apple or some baby carrots into your bag. Voila! Curley says it’s best to eat every three hours to help stoke metabolism and keep cravings in check.

Nuts and dried fruitPhoto, Istockphoto.

Launch a fitness & lunch club

Feel strange doing sit-ups in your cubicle? Make it a group activity! Curley says adding a social element to exercise helps us stick to our goals. “Get a walking group together or take the stairs on your breaks,” she says. “Peer pressure helps to make sure you’re getting exercise in every day.” This also works when it comes to healthy eating. Take turns with colleagues bringing in chopped fruits and veggies to keep in the communal fridge for snacks; or, better yet, get a group of five together and ask each person to share five servings of a waist-friendly dish once a week. “It encourages everyone to eat healthily together,” says Curley.

Running on treadmillsPhoto, Istockphoto.

Go light at lunch

Trick your brain and your stomach into feeling less hungry by downsizing your midday meal. Cornell researchers discovered this slimming tip when they compared a group of people let loose at a buffet lunch with those who stuck to a portion-controlled soup or pasta dish over a five-week period. The latter group consumed 250 fewer calories per day than they normally would — and lost an average of a pound over 10 days. The best part? Those who ate the light lunch were no hungrier than usual and didn’t binge later. To take the guesswork out of portion control, we love the cleverly divided lunch box Box Appetite. For a delicious lunch tomorrow, fill it with this low-calorie, high-protein dish: Thai Tofu-Quinoa Bowl.

12:38 p.m.
The best time to eat lunch for weight loss, says a recent survey.

Thai Tofu-Quinoa BowlThai Tofu-Quinoa Bowl. Photo, Erik Putz.


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