Educators, Dietitians, Nurses, Mental Health & Fitness Professionals
Menu Planning & Recipes
« Menu Planning--Dealing with eating styles, weight loss, and pickiness | Main | The MOST Popular Diet: The "See Food-->Eat Food" Diet! »

How to Eat Better at Work AND Save Time and Money

In my last post I introduced the concept of stimulus control: adding healthy food choices to your environment as well as removing trigger foods that tend to provoke eating in the absence of hunger (or overeating). While we have the most control over the food environment in our homes there is plenty that you can also do to set yourself up for success while you are away from home—at work—during the day.

Your work environment may have vending machines, a cafeteria, or maybe your company orders a lot of food in for meetings which leads to a lot of leftovers being available (every thing from pastries to pizza). Maybe you work in a downtown area that has loads of ethnic and other lunch choices.

Since there is little you can do about what your work environment already provides, applying stimulus control during the day will mainly consist of adding (bringing with you) healthy food choices. By bringing your own healthy snacks and meals, you'll be less inclined to partake of the less healthy foods available in your work environment.

For things to change you must change,” One of my favorite quotes (by Tony Robbins), is the bottom line.

As long as you take the path of least resistance—leave the house in the morning without the healthy foods you need—nothing will change. The first step to managing what you eat during the day is being proactive. You have to make a plan!

Here’s a real life example of how I managed this during one busy period of my life. At the time I was working from 6am to 3pm in downtown Seattle at a financial company. I left the house in the morning with a cooler packed with my breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The cooler [12x16x13] stayed in the trunk, and I brought my breakfast and lunch into the office. I’d use the microwave in the lunchroom for both my breakfast (oatmeal that I would add almond slivers and raisins to) and lunch (usually something like mac-n-cheese with vegetables and chicken breast). After work I would go straight to night school, or the gym, depending on the day of the week. My dinner generally consisted of a sandwich (no reheating necessary). The snacks I packed were a couple of yogurts, three pieces of fruit, and 3 or 4 small homemade cookies. I froze water in two Rubbermaid quart beverage containers, and that was my ice, and some water to drink.

Sound crazy? The crazy thing is that at that time I was going non-stop from 5am until I turned light off from studying at 10 or 11pm. I didn’t have time NOT to be that organized. Part of that organization also included batch-cooking. My lunch was made in one batch, divided between containers (a couple went into the freezer) so that I was spending as little time cooking as possible. Another benefit was saving money; planning ahead like this saves a lot of dime.

Considering my example, maybe the idea of packing your lunch and a few snacks sounds like a piece of cake! I hope so. Remember to put some “emergency” snacks in a desk drawer too. They will save you a trip to the vending machines, some money, and keep you in control.



What's your question about healthy weight loss or healthy eating that you want answered? Comment here, or email me at

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>